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OverviewProvings of eleven remedies - organized into sections.
The book uses the exact words of the provers and includes reportorial rubrics.
247 pp hb
DetailsProvings, by Rajan Sankaran, was published in 1998.
The eleven provings contained in this work are of: Coca cola, Crotalus cascavella, Dendroaspis polylepsis (black mamba), Lac caprinum, Lac defloratum, Lac humanum, Lac leoninum, Niccolum, Ocimum sanctum (basil), Polystyrenum (polystyrene) and Strontium carbonicum.
Sankaran's introduction reviews the history of provings to the present day and presents his own methodology of provings.
The material is presented as just the raw proving data. Sankaran asked each prover to record the following information:
1. All physical symptoms with exact modalities.
2. All emotional symptoms with exact feelings.
3. All dreams with exact feelings.
4. All phenomena and incidents that happened around him during the period of the proving.
5. Observations of others around him about changes in his state during the proving.
6. The persons the prover met or was impressed by, the kind of movies or books that attracted him, his dress style, manner of talking, working, etc.
The included repertory additions round out the overall pictures of the remedies presented.
From the BookThis book deals with provings of eleven remedies.
Systematic provings of these remedies are organised into sections in the exact words of the provers and with reportorial rubrics. There are no summaries or interuptions.
ContentsIntroduction -- 1-4
1. Coca-Cola -- 5-32
2. Crotalus Cascavella -- 33-60
3. Dendroaspis Polylepsis (Black Mamba) -- 61-86
4. Lac Caprinum (Goat's Milk) -- 87-100
5. Lac Defloratum -- 101-110
6. Lac Humanum -- 111-152
7. Lac Leoninum -- 153-166
8. Niccolum -- 167-182
9. Ocimum Sanctum -- 183-202
10. Polystyrenum -- 203-228
11. Strontium Carbonicum -- 229-247
Reviewed by Nick Churchill
Rajan Sankaran has published a volume of eleven provings conducted by him in recent years. As might be expected, they are of a very high standard and represent a unique addition to the materia medica. He also provides an introduction which surveys the history of provings to the present, and is itself an essential contribution to the on-going discussion about the methodology of provings.
These provings are a joy to read. They are presented in a completely 'hands-off', unprejudiced way and contain just the raw proving data. This is grouped under brief headings, which Sankaran stresses is not to indicate supposed 'themes' in the proving, but merely to make reading less cumbersome.
Unlike with nearly all other provings, there is no prior discussion of the nature or significance of the substance being proved, so neither the gross nature of the substance nor possible considerations of the doctrine of signatures are allowed to intrude on the inner dynamic qualities of the remedy standing out in a pure form.
The only element of interpretation present is the repertorisations, the rationale for which is also discussed in the introduction.
The provings are of: Coca cola, Crotalus cascavella, Dendroaspis polylepsis (black mamba), Lac caprinum, Lac defloratum, Lac humanum, Lac leoninum, Niccolum, Ocimum sanctum (basil), Polystyrenum (polystyrene) and Strontium carbonicum.
Some of these substances have never been proved before, such as Coca cola and Polystyrenum, some were proved in the last century (eg Crotalus cascavella, Niccolum) and some are contemporaneous versions of substances which have recently been proved elsewhere (eg Lac humanum, Lac leoninum).
Most of these are full provings based on the Hahnemannian methodology tempered by a modern understanding of the dynamics of provings and group phenomena (as elaborated at different times by Sankaran, Becker and Sherr). One or two are seminar provings. The quality of these is much higher than one might expect (most notably Lac humanum, an 'extended' seminar proving).
By contrast, one remedy, Lac defloratum, was the subject of a dream proving. This is the most disappointing part of the book. On reading it I was reminded of the fact that you cannot truly understand the mental state of a remedy from dreams alone.
The dream world of a remedy relates to the conscious state to a greater or lesser degree, without wholly overlapping with it. The degree of displacement between the two is impossible to judge unless both kinds of symptoms are recorded.
Elsewhere there is, not surprisingly, a strong slant towards Mind symptoms, with the result that the best of these provings provide astonishingly complete mental pictures. Several of them (eg Lac humanum, Lac leoninum, Polystyrenum) are so comprehensive and complete unto themselves that they rank with the very best in the proving literature to date. Lac humanum is particularly impressive.
While all good provings may be said to shed light on the human condition as well as to provide information about a remedy, this one does so to a breathtaking extent, no doubt because of the fact that it is breast milk.
However, I would say that these provings do suffer slightly from the fact that fewer characteristic physical symptoms were gathered. As a result, the full range of dynamic possibilities of these remedies may not have been completely brought out.
Such criticisms aside, this book is undoubtedly of great importance to homeopathy and I would urge everyone to read and learn from it.
The Homeopath, No.73
Reprinted with permission from the Society of Homeopaths
HeritageProvings of 11 remedies including Black Mamba, Coca Cola, Lac Saprinum (goat milk), and Polystyrene.
Julian Winston writes:
Poor examples of proving methodology. The Coca-Cola proving was done at a seminar over two days, and all those present were asked to record their symptoms, whether they had taken the remedy or not.
In the proving of Crotalus cascavella, 12 provers participated, one was given a placebo. That person's symptoms were recorded in the proving record but were also entered into the "rubrics" - although the symptoms were not the result of ingesting substance.
This is poor methodology, and has led to even more absurd proving methodologies as seen through the increase in "dream provings" or "seminar provings" where any and all symptoms reported by those present are entered into the record - even symptoms that were experienced before the substance was ingested.
Provings are the backbone of homeopathic methodology. If the symptoms of everyone present are seen as part of the proving, whether or not they have taken the substance, what can be the ultimate value - except to degrade the idea of provings?
The Heritage of Homoeopathic Literature
copyright 2001 by Julian Winston
Reprinted with the permission of the author