A deep, creative and transformative process, which supports you through your holistic awakening journey and individual personal health revolution
My Interview with Misha Norland in 2005
May your dear soul rest in peace Misha…
”I have a sort of prayer to the universe, a wish list, for homeopathy. The wish is that those who practise homeopathy should keep on looking; keep on looking at the world out there and the world inside themselves.” Misha Norland, February 2005
Saturday 26 February 2005 brought me to Yondercott to visit with Misha, his School, his family home and his chickens. I wondered around the gardens and woodland at Yondercott prior to our 10.30 meeting time. The students had started their morning classes and I had some time on my hands and some space to gather my thoughts and get into the School of Homeopathy’s groove. It was a cold morning, but here in Devon they had escaped the snow that had been falling constantly all week further north where I had come from. I was already in love with this place. Misha and I found each other near the allotment, his greeting accompanied by the sound of the ducks chatting away; he was gathering eggs.
After a warm hug, we made plans to take Bear, their dog, for a walk up in the hills before conducting a more formal interview in his clinic room in the quiet of the upstairs of the house. When I say ‘more formal’, we did in fact sit on the floor. Misha has a wonderful way of relaxing his companion, and I felt like I had known him forever. The interview was really more of the ‘conversation’ that the title of this book suggests, inevitable as we were already familiar and relaxed with one another from our rambling around the fields. I immediately admired Misha’s warm and empathetic way. Since the interview Misha has now handed down the role of principal of the School of Homeopathy to his son, Mani.
Re-reading our conversation in January 2022, I can hear his voice. We miss you Misha!
RSR: How did you get into homeopathy all those many years ago?
MISHA: There are many ways to answer that question, because there have been many steps along my journey from there to here, most of them taken unconsciously, so that only now, looking back, can I understand the sequence. I first heard about homeopathy when I was about twenty-six or twenty-seven while I was investigating the world of healing and healers. I was in the room of a radionic practitioner called Rosemary Russell, long deceased, a wise old lady, who had been in the field of distant healing for at least forty years.
Among the various objects and healing devices that she had were some illustrations that intrigued me. They looked like a cross between Malcolm Ray’s diagrams for creating remedy potencies and Astrological charts. I asked her who was the creator of these and what was their purpose. Rosemary explained that they represented thought-forms and that she sometimes used them in her healing work. They were created by a colleague of hers who was also a homeopath, called John Damonte.
So I received two things at the same moment, the concept of homeopathy (for she explained to me the ‘like cures like’ principle) and the name of the man who later became my teacher, John Damonte. I obtained his address and also her recommendation of a book about homeopathy. It was a perfect text for me, although I would not recommend it to others as an appropriate starting place unless they had a medical and scientific background. It was Clarke’s three volume Materia Medica.
I went to the Watkins Book Shop, by the British Museum, because I worked within easy walking distance. They said they could order it for me. (This was in 1968. Oh, how I wished I had started all this when I was at school because here I was in my mid- twenties, with so much to learn.) But I am jumping the gun – I eventually received a card from Watkins saying, “Your books have arrived.” I thought I had only ordered one! They were expensive and I wasn’t sure I wanted them, so I disappeared into the back of the shop and started reading, but I realised pretty quickly that I loved them.
Back at home, for bedtime reading, I would pick out a remedy at random. As you know, Clarke has a ‘relationship of remedies’ section, and my habit was to see if I could follow the reasoning behind the relationship, which I usually couldn’t. I kept on reading Materia Medica and was endlessly intrigued – I had got hooked into homeopathy.
I decided I definitely wanted to contact John Damonte. I caught him at a point when he was beginning to reach out in the world – he had started up a homeopathy class; prior to that he had just been a busy practitioner. Furthermore, and most conveniently, he lived round the corner from my parents in Hampstead, in North London. So, I could combine visiting them and my teacher. This is the short answer to how I discovered homeopathy.
For the longer answer I have to go back to my early childhood in Gower, Wales. My parents came over in 1939 from war-torn central Europe. I can remember distant explosions in the night while Swansea was bombed. I lived with an ominous feeling of imminent danger. Although family life was safe and loving, there was threat on the horizon. I was not told about the holocaust and the fate of the Jews until later on, but I believe that I picked up on feelings of ambiguity about human conduct at an early age. I was fascinated about us.
I also became fascinated by war itself, and the machinery of war and how the engines of destruction worked. Once I got near chemicals, (reagents being readily available from Chemists’ shops in those days) I started making bombs, the way boys do. It was dangerous. I got expelled from my first school because I got into a lot of trouble. From then on I was continuously moving schools, not that I got into trouble in every school, but the first expulsion set a pattern.
Anyway, that fascination about humans and what makes us tick (pun intended) was abiding. It has not specifically got anything to do with homeopathy, of course, but it has to do with danger, disease, transformation – how ailing life can be fixed up and made better. Our doctor, a friend of the family, was a Viennese Jew, as was Sigmund Freud. I mention this because his views about psychology and health influenced me. Anyway, he immigrated at about the same time as my parents. When I was six years old my parents went off on holiday together and parked me with the good doctor. They explained to him that I was really no trouble at all except that I got up very early in the morning. They said that if supplied with hammer, nails and some pieces of wood I would keep myself quite happy for an hour or two. So the doctor and his long-suffering wife were woken up early in the mornings by the sounds of industrious hammering.
Being there gave me a chance to investigate the doctor’s surgery. There was equipment, as doctors carried out minor surgery in those days, and many books. I remember being most interested in the books. Although I could not read them, there were illustrations and photographs of diseases. It wasn’t a big stretch of imagination to see that physical disease and psychological ill health are mirrors of one another. I wouldn’t have put it that way then, yet I became intrigued by both. What is it that twists people into these extraordinary distortions? I guess it is easy to be captivated by such things when you are young and half Jewish.
RSR: I don’t think every child would make that connection.
MISHA: I am not sure I did either, consciously, but those speculations and that interest has always been there in the background. I have those same pathology and medical tomes up on my library shelf now. He wrote in his Will that I should inherit his books and bookcases.
RSR: What did you do work-wise up until you were twenty-six?
MISHA: I tried out this and that. I did ‘A’ Levels in Botany, Zoology and Chemistry and got a place in Aberystwyth University to study Marine Biology, which on the face of it could have suited me, but I didn’t take it up because I knew that there was a large part of me that wouldn’t have been satisfied. I went off and studied English Literature, Economics and Philosophy ‘A’ Levels at Westminster College with a view to another kind of University degree. I then went off to Drama School auditions and got a place at Lamda, but that didn’t appeal to me either. So, as you can see I was perplexed.
This led me to sample many different jobs. Of these, the longest lasting for almost a year, was at the Medical Research Council’s establishment annexed to Hammersmith Hospital. I was a Laboratory Technician, which is a lowly job, but set in an environment which attracted me. I enjoyed the detective work and the empirical spirit among these folk who, free from financial constraints, could pursue pure scientific enquiry. I attempted to interest them in researching into psychotropic substances, but the director of the team for whom I worked was dubious about finding approval amongst his colleagues. What is astonishing is that he considered my proposals! I was being heard! It was a relief to be out of School where I was treated as a nuisance at best and as a menace at worst.
Before leaving the subject of Medical Research, I should recount what it was that most of the other scientists were up to in the name of cancer research. This was shocking to me, and I was glad that the team I had landed with had no part in it. The sub-basement of the research building, a tower block of some thirty stories, was dedicated to irradiation. It boasted a massive X-ray unit, a small cyclotron particle accelerator, a Van De Graaf high voltage source, radio-active isotopes of Cobalt and other means of producing electromagnetic rays, sub-atomic and accelerated particles.
The top story of the building, heady in the sky, housed a zoo. Here, ill-fated creatures such as albino rats and mice, rabbits, monkeys and pigs awaited a macabre fate. The approach to cancer research at that time was to induce growths in test animals using carcinogens. At various stages of cancerous infiltration, the animals were taken to the sub-basement and subjected to one or another type of ray or accelerated particle, the object being to ascertain which mode of ‘treatment’ would be ‘effective’.
This level of debasement of the sanctity of life by those very ‘scientists’ whose enquiry was to uncover its secrets shocked and disillusioned me. I was nineteen at this time, impressionable and idealistic. The company of scientists was congenial to me, I liked the way their minds worked, and there were some good people there, very awake, aware and adventurous, but the work was missing a vital ingredient – the very vital, vital ingredient!
I went off travelling for quite a while and spent a year out of the country with a fair spell in Israel. I worked in a lunatic asylum there for a time. It was an eye opening experience where real healing took place. No drugs, no straight jackets. It was a unique situation, because it was set in a village in Lebanese territory that was connected by a road to the Israeli homeland. So nobody could escape. If they were to have crossed the sandbags, they would have been shot. Complete security. The Director was given license to do almost whatever he liked. He was a remarkable man, dedicated to his patients and to the practice of non-violence.
RSR: Did he get people out of psychosis?
MISHA: He let them live out their psychosis, as long as they weren’t killing anybody. It was a remarkable experience and an astonishing place. That was one of my keynote work experiences, because it demonstrated a non-invasive healing approach to the deepest levels of suffering.
I came back from Israel very saddened by the politics. I felt that the situation was hopelessly stuck; nobody had a workable solution. The policy seemed to be, “if you take one of our eyes, we will take two of yours!” and we all know that if we go for an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth policy, we end up with a blind, toothless population. That’s bad, but when you raise the stakes it’s horrific. I was sickeningly struck by the fact that the Jews who had been treated so badly for many thousand years, were now treating their enemies like scum in return – that no lesson had been learnt. I realise that this is a simplistic way of evaluating an emotive and complex situation, however simplicity often highlights truth.
In England I didn’t have a job to come back to, but I had somewhere to live, because my folks were still in Hampstead and had a house that was large enough to accommodate me. I had no idea where I was going or what I would like to do next. But I knew that I wanted something that involved my hands, something that was tangible. I wanted to be creative and I wanted my work to involve people. Now I must step back again and say that quite a number of my friends prior to my leaving on those travels had been interested in films, and also that we had an unusual cinema in Hampstead, called the Everyman.
RSR: I have been there many times but it has changed over the years. They now have great big leather seat sofas to lie on, where you can watch an arty film and drink Jack Daniels!
MISHA: Yes, it has changed. It used to be a fleapit with hard seats; privately owned by a wealthy solicitor who ran it as a hobby. He only showed the films that he wanted to, many of which he owned. He had a garage stacked full of film cans, some on nitrate film base. Despite this fact, he would dig them out, the old Buster Keaton and Chaplin films. The projectionist, himself quite a veteran, used to get a thrill out of living with this danger which entailed keeping a vigilant eye upon the projector at all times and cutting the ark immediately should the film fail to feed through the gate. It is dangerous because as the nitro-cellulose film gets older, it becomes increasingly inflammable. Nitro-cellulose is a constituent of many high explosives by the way, so the danger was very real.
Anyway, the Everyman was an inspiration, not because of these perils hidden from the public, but because of the diversity of films that were screened; the best out of Britain, Europe, USA, Japan, India. I decided it would be fun and a creative challenge to make films, and that is what I did before I became a homeopath. In order to help me, I talked to a number of filmmakers. Hampstead in the sixties was thick on the ground with them! Most said, ”Try editing and learn the nuts and bolts of how films are put together.” I took their advice.
The other advantage of working in the cutting rooms, apart from learning the trade, was that you could get your hands on free film and film processing. You just slipped the technician in the lab a bit of money and he would do some illegal processing for you on the end of the bigger jobs. I learnt later, interestingly, that the main laboratory that our production company used knew about this practice and secretly condoned it. This was typical of the film industry at this time. The people at the top were really encouraging to the people at the bottom because they just loved the whole ethos of filmmaking. So if someone came in and wanted to make a film on the cheap, they quietly let them get on with it and ‘pretended’ that it wasn’t happening. I didn’t know this at the time and thought I was living riskily and would get expelled from school again if they found out.
The greatest thrill was not gained through fraudulent practices however, but came after the shoot, the next day in fact when The Rushes were screened at guess where – the Everyman cinema! Later on in my filmmaking career the magic of cinema was gradually eroded by the necessity of earning a regular crust. You see, the industry was financially challenged during the sixties and I survived that decline by directing TV commercials, which I saw as a prostitution of the filmmakers’ art because the ethos is of selling product.
RSR: So tell me Misha, why do you think someone should choose to learn homeopathy at your school?
MISHA: It certainly is possible to vision homeopathy and homeopathic education in different ways. My approach to say, Materia Medica studies, is through an appreciation of how archetypal energies and signatures manifest in nature. For example, we study the spider. The spider is nothing but a representation at the physical level of an archetypal way of being. The disease, as we call it, if it is similar, is nothing other than the energy of a particular spider acting out through the afflicted person.
That person becomes its mind, its sense organs, its limbs, and acts out its essential being. See that and you see what needs to be cured. The vital being of the spider is expressed in its form and behaviour; it is its signature. So any teacher, or any book that can take me to that understanding, is where I would like to be learning. I would hope that people would come and study with me because that was what fascinated them. This in turn probably implies that not very many people are going to come to this School. Not everybody is excited by an archetypal approach.
RSR: What do you think other people are excited by? What motivates them?
MISHA: When you go out and give talks on homeopathy, the questions you are most likely to be asked are to do with therapeutics. How would you fix the arthritis; how would you fix the bruising; tell me how you would use Arnica in the home, etc. It is a fix-it mentality. Most people are searching for a series of formulae and methods that can help them to alleviate the pain. Generally speaking, in a group of twenty or thirty people, there may be one or two whose interest ranges beyond therapeutics.
I had a scientific education. E=MC2 is a formula that has been familiar to me for a long time, and here in homeopathy we see it in action. This is another illuminating aspect to homeopathy. The potentised remedy represents a similar transformation. There is both a scientific and an artistic aspect to being homeopathic in your vision and to bringing about cure. The disease and the remedy should match at the archetypal level of signature – the art of seeing – while the potency should match the vital force – the science. My parents were artists, painters, and their vision represented a similar, archetypal way of seeing. John’s vision encompassed all of that, so he was the right teacher for me.
RSR: Why did he die young?
MISHA: He had a heart attack. At a physical level, he suffered a congenital weakness, plus he was over-weight. At an emotional level, he had a younger wife and two sons, one of who was marching into his teenage years. Like many a man of his generation, John was authoritarian while being a gentle and loving husband and father. As I understand it, both his older son and his wife were struggling to break away and gain some independence.
At a spiritual level, John was a man who primarily transmitted knowledge through devotion. This provided a gentle learning environment, because students quite naturally developed openness and trust. It is easy to learn then, because you are not threatened and you don’t put barriers up. However, the family feeling within the homeopathy class was insufficient to make up for what may have felt like a shortfall in the home. At the time of his heart attack, the physical structure of his house was also under threat. The roof was under repair. Chaos in the home was the disorder of the day. As I see it, these were the salient factors.
RSR: Do you transmit knowledge through devotion? Do you set it up like that here?
MISHA: I don’t set it up; I am it. I am like John in that respect.
RSR: I have to say, immediately I feel a complete trusting space with you, so if your students all feel that, then I can understand what you are saying. So other colleges that don’t have those central figures, that are called gurus, how do you think it works for them?
MISHA: I don’t know and I don’t understand how it works. Often all I see is trouble. From my perspective, when trust breaks down things become dysfunctional. Families become dysfunctional when trust breaks down.
RSR: Who else was a key teacher, a guru?
MISHA: John was my major teacher, because he gave a vision of healing as well as a vision of homeopathy. He wasn’t that experienced as a homeopath himself, so there was an element missing around the techniques of homeopathy. The basic philosophy was in place, but finding rubrics, repertorisation and differential analysis were not focused on. Because of the spirit of homeopathy, which John seemed to embody, we felt bereft when John died. We all knew that we needed more, so our first move was totally logical; we went to John’s primary teacher, Thomas Maughan.
We sat in on Thomas Maughan’s on-going homeopathy class. This was in the early seventies. There was a wonderful crew of people including Peter Chappell, Robert Davidson, Martin Miles and Kaaren Whitney. Thomas was really hot on esoteric teachings – he felt that these underpinned homeopathy because true practise requires wisdom. If you just practise homeopathy as a technician and don’t underpin it with the perennial philosophy, it is one-dimensional. So he was really strong on bringing in that second dimension.
He invited the lot of us to become Druids and to follow their teachings. Not many of us stayed with it including me. My heart wasn’t in it, not because they aren’t valid and wonderful teachings, they are. However, within druidic practices is considerable reliance upon ritual. While this is fabulously powerful, it had been poisoned for me. If I search for a ‘reason’, I would have to look to the Third Reich. This was so embedded in ritual, I feel it infused it with great power and to such destructive ends.
John’s other teacher was Donald Foubister, who brought our attention to Carcinosin. He was a fine homeopath rooted in the notion of signature, looking for the deeper picture and prescribing constitutionally.
Thomas Maughan believed that Kent was right, but he also had many ancillary methods. He said you should start most cases off with Sulphur 10M to clear out past drugging, but before that give Morgan 200 the bowel nosode, because this is like the snowplough that pre-clears the way. Then, when you give Sulphur it will do really good work and that will throw up the constitutional picture upon which you may prescribe. In the meantime, you can also use certain formulae; he liked triads, putting together three remedies and using them as specifics for this, that and the other. So you can see how the practical approach could have germinated and been nurtured in the nursery bed of Thomas Maughan’s teaching.
RSR: Where did he get that from?
MISHA: He made most of the triads up himself; he liked to do that, his creativity went there. Hahnemann, putting his theory of Sulphur being the greatest anti-psoric to the test, was the first to give this as a first prescription to patients, only later prescribing the homeopathically obtained specific. As for putting Morgan before Sulphur or Gaertner before Calcarea, that is the work of Paterson and Bach, they found that there was a relationship. You will recall, they discovered that stool cultures of patients under treatment, with say Sulphur, showed a preponderance of the Morgan strain of gram-negative staining bacteria.
I tried all those things in my practice and got terribly confused, so my next great teachers were my patients. I figured, and this comes from basic science, if you are unclear about things, you can remove as many variables as possible and simplify down to basics, to first principles. The first principle of homeopathy is the Similimum principle.
RSR: So is this what you call your salad days of homeopathy?
MISHA: Yes, those were definitely my salad days in homeopathy. I just thought, what happens if you give a unit dose of the remedy that you think is the most appropriate on the basis of totality of symptoms? If I go back to my salad days, I would have said, “I have to recognise the patient in the remedy and the remedy in the patient.” I wouldn’t have used a term like ‘totality of symptoms’.
RSR: Because you hadn’t gone off to college for four years and got all that information?
MISHA: Absolutely correct. The person who supplied most of that in a big way was my next major teacher, George Vithoulkas. I had already been in practice for well over ten years and had been teaching before I went to Alonissos for the first time and was blown away by the depth of his materia medica understanding. But the main thing that his approach helped me with was the creative use of repertory. I still believe that George’s most original insights are to be found in the ‘Stolen Essences’ Materia Medica.
RSR: What is the story behind the ‘Stolen Essences’?
MISHA: We have to go to the early eighties for that. George was teaching homeopathy to the doctors in California – many people we know well were there, including Bill Gray. Bill was a great note-taker as well as a skilful writer. He collaborated with George in the Science of Homeopathy but he is given small credit. One of the reasons it is so good is because of Bill, so hats off to him, he did a great job! He wrote down the lectures of Vithoulkas and worked on them, so they do not read like raw lecture notes. They are put together as coherent and well crafted pieces.
They were not meant for publication though; they were intended for circulation among attendees of the seminars. Well, you know how things like that go! When I first had sight and a read of them they came over as the ‘stolen essences’, written by fairies, gnomes and elves, literally that is what they were called. It’s funny, isn’t it? Not funny for George, he was really upset about it. But for us it was fabulous, we had got the work. George didn’t get any royalties but we got the knowledge, we were hungry for it.
The next major teacher who came along my track of teachers has been Rajan Sankaran. I am so glad to say that we have cemented a firm friendship over almost twenty years now.
RSR: So up-to-date now, those are the teachers that have influenced you the most?
MISHA: Yes, they are. I don’t want to sideline Jan Scholten and his fabulous contribution but in terms of personal teaching, he has not been like that for me. Teaching is a relationship between a pupil and a teacher and I don’t have that relationship with Jan, although I honour him greatly. And there is one other I would like to cite, my friend Jeremy Sherr. It is not only for his wonderful teaching but also for his work on provings that I appreciate and thank him.
RSR: So when George Vithoulkas publicly criticised other homeopaths in Links back in 2000, how did you react?
MISHA: I knew it was coming because he had already said those things to me in private before. We have had some disagreements in regard to certain things and we have both been in print over it.
RSR: So you responded to the Links article?
MISHA: I wrote an extended letter called ‘The nature of influence’, published in Links, which was truly the last straw for George. He resigned from Links after the article, having made vitriolic comments about it. He wrote in the following vein, “This man who calls himself a homeopath is doing so much damage to homeopathy and you give him so much space in your magazine – I can’t go on subscribing to a magazine which publishes such views, I withdraw.” So I am a bete noir in George’s eyes.
RSR: What are your views on homeopaths making a fruitful income?
MISHA: They are very simple; it has got nothing to do with homeopathy. Some people go out there and find it easy, and others don’t. People often come into homeopathy driven by idealism, which is fabulous. But idealism doesn’t make you an income. You could be a wonderful homeopath and not make a very good living or a really poor homeopath and be extremely wealthy; these things are not related.
RSR: Do you see homeopathy becoming dormant again?
MISHA: No, I don’t see it going that way again. I see it diversifying. George would like to see it stay in a particular direction, but it’s not doing that, it’s going all over the place.
RSR: So how do you think that affects our profession?
MISHA: I think that is healthy. I have a clear view about the kind of homeopathy that I like to practise and model for my students. However, that doesn’t mean I am not appreciative of the other camps. Dismissing what others believe in would be like saying I really don’t like slugs, I wish there weren’t any in the world, I wish slugs were banished. But we know that diversity is the key to success and health. Diversity in homeopathy is just wonderful. There is a slight problem I guess, keeping a term like homeopathy, if one is actually practising something that is very different from what Hahnemann wrote about. But I think most of us are guided in a fundamental way by the Organon.
I do fervently believe in empiricism; in a process of evaluating results and modifying practice according to what one finds. I also believe in CPD, especially at this time when homeopathy is developing rapidly and extending its therapeutic range.
Increasing numbers of students who come for interview know very little about homeopathy, quite often they have come across Andrew Lockie’s or Miranda Castro’s books and that is it. So clearly they don’t come to my school because they are interested in our point of view; the overreaching philosophy; the Doctrine of Signatures or the awareness of spirit into matter. It must be the spirit that is in the School which hopefully is described in the literature and communicated by word of mouth. People often come because they have heard that their homeopaths have studied here or maybe wished they could have done. So there is something about what the School represents beyond the outer form of the homeopathy it espouses, and I believe it is the feeling of a functional family. This family works well and teaches in depth. It provides an environment, which is safe for people; it’s safe for them to be dysfunctional occasionally and not be thrown out because of that.
I have a sort of prayer to the universe, a wish list, for homeopathy. The wish is that those who practise homeopathy should keep on looking; keep on looking at the world out there and the world inside themselves. I know we are always amazed at the stories that our patients tell us, and if we get tired of that we shouldn’t be practising. The looking I had in mind goes further than that: we are told the story, but the question is what is driving that story. Keep on looking. What is the thing that keeps it going; where is that coming from?
In terms of ill health, where is the vital energy being held and stopped, how is that expressing itself? Here’s a simplified analogy: there is a river, this represents the energy flowing and there’s a rock in the river, which the water gurgles round. This obstruction is the disease. The eddy pools are incredibly interesting. That pattern is what we are looking for and the remedy has that pattern too. We match that pattern to the remedy pattern and the obstruction dissolves.
RSR: How do you teach remedies?
MISHA: Through signature. It is what it is. Be with the being of that particular manifestation and you have got it.
RSR: I have been reading about the secret life of plants – that they have a spirit. This concept makes perfect sense to me. What do you think?
MISHA: They are manifestations of spirit, obviously.
RSR: I always thought then when we die our spirits would go off to the astral plane, which would be here or somewhere else. Maybe they are in the plant world as well?
MISHA: Absolutely, why would it be different, there is a different awareness and consciousness of course, but in terms of planes of existence, these ‘lower’ astral realms are there for all of us – through them we manifest, to them we return when our manifestation ceases.
RSR: Do you think we can move into plant and come back in a human form?
MISHA: Well, we do as diseases, don’t we? What happens, I wonder, when creatures go out of existence, for example, the Bengal Tiger? Its days are numbered but nothing can go out of existence at an astral or spiritual level, just the physical form has gone. So the energy that represents tiger has got to live somewhere and where better than as a co-inhabitant of a human. Maybe there will be more human tigers around the place as the animals go out of incarnation. It is a speculation.
One of the things that is endlessly re-enforced by patient’s stories, is that we all have an unconscious theme in our lives; a theme which repeats itself. Going back to the analogy of the river and the obstruction, well it’s obviously the same river, because that’s life. That won’t change, but the obstruction also has an unerring way of remaining fixed. The eddy pools can vary because of changing life circumstances, but basically they represent the same pattern of deviation. It is a golden thread/river that runs through. The expressions may change but the thrust is the same. This unconscious stuff is what we should focus upon because that is where the obstruction resides. The expressions, and they are usually compensations, can change, but the basic unconscious material remains the same.
If that is true then there is one basic remedy that will be appropriate for that person rather than many. So when we keep on looking, what we are doing is searching to find the nature of that unconscious, basic obstruction and the remedy that most closely matches it. One lifetime is very small and short in the evolution of human consciousness. If we think of each human as being like a cell in the body of humanity, which is itself evolving, and we know that we are a very young species, then we notice that individually we have a long way to go. One lifetime of one individual human allows the possibility to work over a particular form, shape and disturbance and that’s enough!
RSR: Even with my classical training I was taught the concept of layers.
MISHA: I don’t think that’s true. I think it appears to be true and therefore it is modelled. I don’t actually think that is what happens.
RSR: So we are this one remedy, like when you have your astrological chart made for you? The picture that is created at birth of your whole life is reflected in the chart?
MISHA: Exactly like that. Like the natal chart, it tells you everything. There is one natal chart and there is one remedy.
RSR: Does that mean that people don’t move on? Let us say I was given Natrum muriaticum and it clears my disappointed love. If I kept having that remedy repeated over time is it just making me feel better and boosting my immunity?
MISHA: Yes, but let us go back to the river and the obstruction. If you are looking at the eddy pools, you note that Natrum muriaticum covers some of these eddies. So if these eddy pools appear and I take Natrum muriaticum, the river flows with less obstruction, so it’s good. I don’t knock it. What I am suggesting though, is that if you prescribe a remedy for somebody, even by accident, and you see the miracle of cure at the deepest level, not just some but all the eddy currents disappear.
It is the Holy Grail of homeopathy; it is the quest. It is a model that keeps us on the search for more remedies and more provings because as we develop our materia medica, we also increase our capacity to find simillima, not just partial remedies, and this in turn moves our practice away from a layer model and towards a single remedy practice.
RSR: So the homeopaths that come out of this college, they would go on and practise the way that ….
MISHA: What tends to happen is they walk out of this college having taken cases under supervision during which time they also learn other things and they may say, “wow, there is a much bigger world than we were taught at the School, let’s try out these other methods.” That often happens. They are often rebellious and experimental; it is great and wonderful.
RSR: Vithoulkas wouldn’t say so though. But you are very classical, so why doesn’t he approve of you?
MISHA: Well, I say some ‘naughty’ things especially about potency and provings and he is really not into that stuff. It is also about the understanding of the remedies. He is saying that a lot of partly proven information is added to the books and he is right, too. There is speculation in there. There is insufficient clarity about what is wildly speculative, what is just slightly imaginative and what is solidly arising from the provings. I wonder what he thinks of Vermulen’s work, for instance, of Prisma. Frans Vermulen is very rigorous and he always gives sources. Thus you can decide whether it is reliable or not and where you would place it on the ‘speculative spectrum’.
RSR: That is what Sheila Creasy got us to do. We weren’t allowed Synthesis, but like you I am a bit of a rebel so when I brought it in and mentioned a listing of a remedy within a rubric that wasn’t in Kent, she would ask who the source was. I thought this was great and really good training.
MISHA: Yes, rigour is necessary; we shouldn’t loose it.
RSR: Tell me more about John.
MISHA: I can tell you one thing about John that is most revealing; he spent his childhood in Morocco. They lived rurally and they had chickens.
RSR: Interesting, so you have that in common with him. Is there a chicken remedy?
MISHA: Yes, Nuala Eising proved chicken, but she did it the same time as fox. She divided the class into two and gave half of them chicken and the other half fox; that is very unconventional. Does she like trouble or what? She is a wonderful and extraordinary woman. But to get back to the story; if you want to multiply your stock of chickens then you will want to incubate the female eggs while eating the male eggs and the ones that are infertile. The way in which this was decided upon was by use of a pendulum. John had an aptitude for it. He unerringly got it right. The eggs John dowsed to incubate turned out to be chickens, not cockerels, and they all came out of their shells, rather than turning into a smelly, rotten egg.
That gave him the confidence to be a dowser in other fields. As he said, “Caruso came with a voice, Mozart came with music and I came with an ability to dowse.” John was a natural and the word got round. The local healer used to go round with a horse and cart visiting sick folk, just an ordinary man, but with healing abilities, a bit like a Shaman. He liked John and took him on these healing rounds. When John was a young adult he entered medical school, a study interrupted by the war.
RSR: Do you dowse?
MISHA: I am not a natural. I am only good at it if I really have no vested interest in the outcome. If it is my patient I am not so good at it. If it is someone else’s patient I will be fine. So there is some weird block that I have. Another can just tell me about their patient and I can dowse for them.
RSR: But how do you go through three thousand remedies?
MISHA: There are several of ways of doing it, but all you need is a list really, however a book is nice because you can open it and you can halve it and then halve the half until you reach the page and the remedy. Vithoulkas would go mad!
RSR: I guess he would! Thanks so much Misha.