Monthly E- Newsletter May 2008
Interview with Dr. Jan Scholten
Interviewed by Dr. Pawan S. Chandak
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: Dear Dr. Jan, Welcome to modernhomoeopathy.com !.
We are feeling happy to have with you today.
Nowadays many homoeopaths are using Patents, combination, biochemics, mother tinctures at a time. What do you think due to such things is there any chance of Suppression ?
What's your view towards concept of suppression as told by Dr. Hahnemann.
Dr. Jan Scholten: Suppression can happen always when the correct remedy is not given.
Suppression is a general and natural development, also without therapy.
But therapies can contribute to that and the more "strong" the therapies the more they can cause suppression. It is a question if palliation is possible without suppression.
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: Can you please tell us about your life from childhood till now.
Dr. Jan Scholten: There is not much special in my youth. I grew in a small town in the south of the Netherlands. I went to school as everyone else. There is a medical tendency in my family; my father was a veterinary doctor, 2 brothers are vets and my third brother is also a doctor, a general physician.
The most peculiar things are more internally. I have always been wondering about life and people, what drove them. I have always been in search for the essence of life. Maybe that is why a test showed that for me the study of biochemistry was indicated, so I started studying that. The testers discovered my interest in science and life and combined the two in biochemistry.
However it later turned out that for me biochemistry was too “dead”, it lacked life, the essence of life. So I went almost to the opposite study philosophy. But after a few years I discovered that the professors were more interested in nice theories than really questioning the essence of life. So I left.
After that I studied medicine. The theory was nice, but the practice often did not feel good. I often had the feeling that patients would have been better of not being in the hospital. At least, I would not have liked to be done to me, what was done to patients. This was especially the case in the cancer clinics. I also asked several oncologist if they would like to be treated the same way and most said they would not. Maybe I was too critical, but it was long before I encountered homeopathy.
After graduating I decided to study as a general practitioner, as I definitely did not want to work in a hospital, for the reasons mentioned. During that time I followed some courses in alternative medicine: acupuncture, orthomolecular medicine and later homeopathy. I choose homeopathy as the last because I had the idea it was too far off. But when I studied it I discovered that it was real medicine. Stories of patient feeling young again, feeling their old self coming back: that is healing.
Since that time I have only worked as a homeopath. In homeopathy all came together, it was as if coming home. I homeopathy one can find what moves people, how a body works and reacts to stress, how it expresses the problems. Homeopathy is in a way a combination of medicine, psychology, mythology, physics, philosophy, sociology. In a way in encompasses all sciences.
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: Also tell us any special reason behind Interest & Conversion in Homoeopathy ?
Dr. Jan Scholten: I was truck by the fact that one can really heal with homeopathy, that patients felt younger, as they were before becoming ill. If the stories I was reading were real that was what I wanted to do. I just wanted to heal people, really cure them.
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: Who is the Man Behind you in your Homoeopathic Life. I mean who is your Guru or Teacher or Guide or Inspirer ?
Dr. Jan Scholten: There is no special guru. Life is a guru, it teaches one all the essential things. Patients are a guru as they will show the homeopath if he has seen the correct picture and thus has given the right remedy. Colleagues are gurus by showing good cases and telling good ideas.
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: What is your opinion about the present trends in Homoeopathy as regards various Approach, hypothesis and beliefs with respect to - classical homoeopathy equivalent to single dose and single remedy etc ?
Dr. Jan Scholten: The concept of "Classical Homeopathy" is poorly defined. Some homeopaths use it as doing homeopathy the same way as Hahnemann or Kent.
In that sense I am not a classical homeopath. Some use "Classical Homeopathy" as being equivalent to prescribing single remedies.
In that sense I am classical. But the whole idea of single remedies has no good grounds in the laws of homeopathy.
So it could turn out in the future that "single remedies" do not belong to the core of Homeopathy.
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: Please tell me in brief status of Homoeopathy includes your personal experience or problems you have faced in Homoeopathic Practice in Netherland.
Dr. Jan Scholten: Homeopathy shows several developments. As a social phenomenon it is at one hand under many attacks, of the media, journals and television. This is not typical for Holland, it can be seen all over the world.
The summit of this tendency has been the article in the Lancet, a meta analysis about homeopathy. The conclusion was there that homeopathy was placebo. But the conclusion was based on a selection of the reviewed researches. The selection as such was not described and it was not made clear on which grounds the selection was made. So it was very unscientific.
The curious thing is how such a "renowned" journal make such obvious faults. And the curious thing is that it was front page news in the journals, in contrast with four former meta analysis which show definitely that homeopathy cannot be placebo. They were poorly or not all covered in the media. So there is some force working in society against homeopathy.
Some homeopaths look for the cause of those attacks within homeopathy. For instance, Vithoulkas is blaming the new developments of homeopathy like Sankaran and me for homeopathy being under attack. This is a tendency often seen when a minority group is under attack: they divide and start blaming the other groups in order to get acceptance from the majority. In history this has happened with many religious groups. It only does not work. The majority will attack the divided group with even more ease.
These media attacks have also influenced partly the people, less people, going to homeopaths. So some homeopath have stopped their practice in the Netherlands.
At the other hand homeopathy as a science is developing enormously. The results are getting better and better, for more severe diseases. The understanding of remedies has deepened and many more remedies have become known.
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: What's your view towards Necessity for reproving of homoeopathic medicines which were proved during Hahnemannian time ?
Is it really necessary and if yes does it can bring change in our Materia Medica with new discoveries ?
Dr. Jan Scholten: One can do many provings if one wants. Everyone is free to choose a remedy and do a proving of it, be the remedy old or new. It is always good too see those provings published.
Every new proving of an "old" remedy will be different from the old picture. Provings are not the remedy, they "views" of a remedy and views will differ. The essence of a remedy will always be the same, but if the proving will discover that depends on many factors.
One can compare provings with pictures of a plant in its different stages of development: a young plant looks different form one in full blossom and that will be different from one in decay, but it is still the same plant.
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: Is there any necessity for up gradation of 6th edition of Organon of Medicine ?
Dr. Jan Scholten: One look at an upgrade of the Organon 6 from several points of view. But my basic one is to leave the Organon as it is. It is a historical text and as such good for what it is. A new textbook of homeopathy is needed all the time, as homeopathy is in development.
One can compare it with physics. The writings of Newton are not upgraded. But his basic ideas are reformulated in even better ways and additions are made to them in new modern textbooks. The writings of Newton as such are hardly read by students in physics, because there are much better textbooks, written in modern language and thus better understandable.
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: Views regarding Importance of diagnosis of disease in Homoeopathy. Is it must ?
Dr. Jan Scholten: The regular diagnosis is part of the homeopathic diagnosis. The "disease" is part of the remedy picture and as such relevant and important. But one can also prescribe on the essence of a remedy, or a vital sensation, or the genius or whatever. And as such one can bypass the diagnosis. The important thing is to recognize the remedy, by whatever means.
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: Distribution of Preventive medicine in various Genus Epidemicus like Chikungunya, Viral fever, Conjunctivitis. Are you agreeing with Genus Epidemicus concept of Dr. Hahnemann if not then why? As Dr. Praful Vijaykar disagree Genus Epidemicus concept ?
Dr. Jan Scholten: I think Hahnemann has done great work in this respect. Epidemics have been big success stories from the start of homeopathy all over the world. Epidemics is one of the aspects where homeopathy can be proven easily.
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: What's your opinion about the Miasmatic classification made by some homoeopath like Cancer Miasm, Malaria Miasm, AIDS Miasm ?
Is it necessary to make separate classification rather than Hahnemannian classification Psora, Sycosis, Syphilis.
Dr. Jan Scholten: The concept "miasm" has been used in many different ways. Some homeopaths use it in the way of just 3 groups of remedies as Hahnemann did. Masi uses the same miasms as stages of development of the disease. According to Masi remedies are not psoric or so, but can be in a psoric state in a patient. Sankaran uses the concept as a way of perceiving the problems, which is connected to different forms of disease. Sankaran's idea of miasms is linked very much to the Stages as found in the periodic table, they are an expression of the Stages. Hahnemann develops his idea of miasms in "Chronic diseases", where he uses the concept as an influence form the marshes, it cannot be seen, but brings forth the disease. So miasms is there an expression of the idea that "diseases" are not the diseases as such, but there is something behind all those pathologies which is the real diseases. Connected to that is the concept that "miasms" can be inherited from generation to generation, as the unseen influence.
So it is difficult to speak about miasms without first clarifying what ones means with it.
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: What's your opinion regarding status of Homoeopathy, Homeopath in U.K. or USA as you have visited different countries for Seminars or giving lectures.
Dr Jan Scholten: It is as I have described before. It is not very different from the situation in Holland. I think it will be different in India, but I do not know the situation there good enough to say much about it.
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: What advise you will give for younger homoeopathic generation. As there in different School with different opinion all over the world like Sankaran, Predictive Homoeopathy, Vithoulkas, Sehgal group etc.
Dr Jan Scholten: "Schools" are a social phenomenon, not a scientific one. There is just one science with theories that complement each other. One can compare it with physics: there is no school for electricity and another for gravity and another for quantum physics. It is just all physics. The same is with homeopathy: a remedy is just the remedy. One can look at a remedy from different points of view, but the remedy will stay the same. One can say it also like " A remedy does not care how it is found". Or said more scientifically: the effect of the remedy is independent on how is was deduced.
But there is a split growing in homeopathy between a more conservative group and the ones with new developments. The conservative group calls itself "Classical", claiming to be the true inheritents of Hahnemann. They tend to put new developments away as not real homeopathy, or new schools, or something for the very advanced, but surely not for beginners. Unfortunately most teachers at schools tend to be in the conservative group, learning students only the old homeopathy. Discussion between the two groups are not very fruitful, often leading to blaming and slander.
An example can make this more clearer. I had a discussion with Vithoulkas about the development of remedy pictures. Vithoulkas stated that they can only be deduced from provings, and maybe, maybe a little bit from clinical cases. He evaluated the idea of deducing pictures from classification as: not homeopathic, not Hahnemannian, idiotic and egotistical of the developer.
All these four arguments have no scientific value whatsoever. It is a pity that the discussion could not be elevated to a scientific level.
Vithoulkas does a similar thing in ridiculing the idea that remedies form the different kingdoms have special qualities. But again he does it without any scientific argument, he just ridicules it. It is a pity that he promotes those ideas without having any experience with them. Experience shows that those ideas are valid. It is a pity that Vithoulkas cannot see those difference and it is even more a pity for his patients. But the worst is for the homeopathic community because it leads to division and confusion.
Much of the argumentation of the Classical" group is that it is not what Hahnemann has said. But that is not a scientific argument. It is more a religious argument, like people who base themselves on the bible or koran as definite texts. But scientifically it is of no interest of who has said what, it is only of interest of what has been said is true.
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: Tell us more about your research on theory 'Law of similars ".
Dr. Jan Scholten: Every prescription is a test of the Law of Similars. But till now I trust the law of Similars. This means that when a prescription does not work I doubt the prescription and not the Law of Similars. It is quite a statement that I trust the law of Similars. It means it is general, always true. It means that all therapies can be evaluated by it, also regular medicine.
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: Tell us more about your Study on Periodical Table, Mineral Kingdom & Homoeopathy. How did you become interested in exploring mineral kingdom & Homoeopathy ?
Dr. Jan Scholten: My question would more like "how could I not have gone into the periodic table". The periodic table of the Elements is the basic layout of how nature is and thus must have relevance for Homeopathy. Homeopathy is not something outside of nature. It is the opposite, Homeopathy is deeply engrained into nature, into its essence. So the periodic table must have a deep meaning for the remedies in it. Nature is one, theories are diverse.
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: Why did you chose to fill the empty spaces synthetically rather than by conducting systematic provings? Please tell us in detail.
Dr. Jan Scholten: There are several reasons for this.
The first is that doing proving the classical way, for instance as Sherr does them, takes a lot of time and energy. When I would have proceeded only this way my book "Homeopathy and the Elements" would be far from finished by now.
The second reason is that it is more scientific, or better said it is science on a higher level, the level of classification. It makes homeopathy more scientific, as it can predict pictures. Prediction is essential for science.
The third reason is that the theory of the Elements gives the essences of the remedies, so one is not distracted so much by side information, or incorrect information as is often also produced in provings.
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: By what process did you determine the life conflict or theme of each element, series and stage. Was it a distillation of available literature or a more intuitive process?
Dr. Jan Scholten: The determination of the essence and themes of remedies, elements and also plants is a process. It can start with Materia medica or other information like mythology, herb medicine, name information, the substance as such. Then clinical cases add to it, fill the picture in and give it depth and life.
Classification brings this all together, refines the essence to the essential part. Classification makes comparison and differential diagnosis easy, a consequence of it. Logic completes the whole, as for instance the sequence of the Stages is logical for the process of life.
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: Now many new medicines are emerging that have not been proved yet. What is your take on this issue?. There is lots of debate on this issue.
Dr. Jan Scholten: There are many ways to know the picture of a remedy. proving is one way. Unfortunately Hahnemann has limited homeopathy to this possibility and he was wrong in this as I have discussed in "Dogmatism in Homeopathy".
Deducing the remedy pictures can also be done from clinical cured cases as is obvious from the Law of Similars. And it can be done from classifications, which is a basic aspect of all sciences as I have discussed in "Homeopathy and Classifications".
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: Since your focus is very much on the cured case, I would like to ask - How do you evaluate whether a remedy has acted curatively or not for the long term?
What are the criteria for determining whether a remedy or a series of remedies is taking the patient in a curative direction. At what point in time would you consider a patient cured? Tell us in your opinion or approach.
Dr. Jan Scholten: Evaluation of cases is an essential element of all homeopathy and the basic laws are "Herings laws". They are expressions of a more general Law, that every living system tries to expel diseases or problems as far as possible. One of the easiest ways is projection and that is way projection is done so often by people and whole societies. So the most important factor for me is the healing of the mind. When a patient can handle problems with more ease, is not affected by the problems as before, one can be quite sure that the healing is on the right track. The patient is more free form the problem, more free in general.
But talking about "cured" is in my view incorrect. People are not sick or healthy, it is not a dichotomy even when it seems so from the physical point of view, superficially seen.
All people are somewhere on a scale from very sick to very healthy. So people are never "cured', they are on the way to more health.
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: There has been a lot of controversy and discussion regarding the method of conducting provings in the last few years. There are people who insist that provings should start with material dose and then higher potencies should be proved in the more sensitive provers. On the other hand there are people who recommend that all provings should be done in 30C.
What in your opinion is the right way of doing a proving? And how do you know what is the symptom of a remedy and what is the 'noise'?
Dr. Jan Scholten: I have discussed the topic of provings in the "Theory of Provings".
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: What's your opinion on the concept of 'Unprejudiced Observer' How you apply in your practice or How you give direction to your students ?
Dr. Jan Scholten: The 'Unprejudiced Observer' is an ideal that does not exist, but one has to be try to reach it. All the personalities of the homeopath will hinder to be an 'Unprejudiced Observer'. The personalities bring in their own stuff. As a homeopath, one gets confronted with ones own personalities in the therapy of patients. They will show up as hindrances in helping patients. So the homeopath can develop himself, becoming more healthy and more unprejudiced, by looking at his problems in therapy. That is on of the beauties of being a homeopath.
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: How should the students go about mastering your approach/work? Any advise you want to give to young Homoeopathic generation.
Dr. Jan Scholten: It is road of trial and error, as is every craft and art. One has to get versed in it by studying and doing it.
An essential part of homeopathy is the desire and trying to understand the problem of the patients. When one ones why a patient has created his pathology one has found the essence of the case. And the essence is that part of the remedy that is there in all cases. So it can be relied upon. Trying to understand the patients leads to the depth of the problem, to the core of the being of the patient. That is the place where the pathologies arise from. So it leads to understanding.
Dr. Pawan S. Chandak: I hope we will get to hear you in India soon. Jan, thank you so much for sharing your life and thoughts with us today. It has been a pleasure to hold this discussion and I hope the interaction will continue in future too to support our common goal of promoting homeopathy. Thank you!
Dr. Jan Scholten: I hope to be in India soon.
Homopathy and Science, www.janscholten.com.
Homeopathy and Classifications, www.janscholten.com.
Homeopathy as Information, www.janscholten.com.
Diagnosis Yellowflower, www.janscholten.com.
Dogmatism in Homeopathy Source: Homeopathic Links, Volume 15, Number 1. Spring, 2002. Page 15-16.
Theory of Provings, Interhomeopathy, January 2007, www.interhomeopathy.org