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When personality is talked about, certain terms are used without thinking about them. Many such terms, though their meanings may seem clear and are given precise definitions by psychologists. These narrower meanings reduce the risk of misunderstanding when psychologists discuss personalities.
A tendency to like or dislike classes of people or things based on one’s beliefs and feelings. Eg: people who seem to believe that all women are emotional can be said to have a prejudiced attitude.
An emotional state that may dominate one’s outlook and manner of expressing oneself for a period of time.
E.g: Winning a major competition puts one in a euphoric mood, being caught in bumper-to-bumper traffic bring on a depressed or irritable mood.
A person’s built-in tendency to react to a tendency to react to a given situation in a characteristic way; similar to temperament.
E.g: People who smile easily, are kind to others and are sympathetic listeners are said to have a friendly disposition.
A learned mode of behavior that is relatively fixed (and hard to change) and occurs again and again in certain situations.
E.g: Taking a vitamin pill every day and fastening one’s seat belt before driving are both havits so are smoking cigarettes and driving too fast.
In the broad sense, same as personality if used to refer to a person’s total pattern of behavior. However, the word character generally implies the added dimension of ethical or moral values.
E.g: Letters of recommendation may refer to a person’s trustworthy emotionally stable character. A person who cheats on an exam is said to have a questionable character.
The totality of a person’s unique psychological qualities, which consistently determines his pattern of behavior in a variety of situations.
E.g: Two boys were assigned a room together in boarding school. Since one was quiet and studious and the other liked to spend all his time partying, they were found to have incompatible personalities.
One’s inborn manner of reacting to things. It may show itself at birth or soon after, especially in the way a child expresses emotions and in his or her level of activity.
E.g: Some babies are excitable and active, while others show a calm and passive temperament. Some adults are easy-going and relaxed, while others are high-strung.
A set of feeling of a certain kind that one is aware of and that causes some reaction in the autonomic nervous system (faster beating of heart rate, for example). Unlike a trait, a state is only temporary.
E.g: Not being prepared for an exam will cause a state of worrying or stress but always being upset at exams is a sign of the trait called anticipating anxiety.
A specific way of behavior that occurs again and again, tends to characterize a person, and is useful in predicting future behavior.
E.g. Someone who gives money to charitable organizations or to friends in need and who gives up leisure time for a worthy cause could be said to possess the trait of generosity.
A category used to classify people who share similar traits.
E.g: People described as type A are said to behave in competitive and sometimes hostile ways in reaction to the stresses in their lives.
Qualities that a person had learned to believe are important or worthwhile. They can be principles to live by or goals to be achieved.
E.g: Power and wealth are important to some people others may find friendship and community service to be of greater significance.
Personality is the product of the interaction of genetic constitutional (intrinsic) factors and the environmental (extrinsic) factors.
Samuel Hahnemann had already come to the conclusion that the complaints are not the disease. He calls disease a derangement of the vital force, the dynamic or spiritual force which animates man. The disadvantage of this definition is that it is rather vague. It does make it clear however, that he saw the root of disease to be on the energetic or psychic level.
In the section below the root cause of disease will be further explored. The different ways to look at disease will be compared. The advantages and disadvantages of the various points of view will be put next to each other. We will also see how the different points of view could complement rather than exclude each other.
This is the first conception of disease, the way it is often used in ordinary medicine. A human being wears out, just like a machine. From time to time we need to replace the worn out parts. This vision of disease as a wearing out process fits well in the mechanistic view of the world. This vision is not so strange. Everybody gets older, weaker and eventually dies. But there are certain problems with this point of view. Isn’t it true that the human body is constantly being renewed and repaired? So it is not clear how and when the wearing out process would win from the ability to repair. This dilemma is represented clearly in the following example. An old woman goes to the doctor with pain in her right knee. The doctor looks at it and says reassuringly: ‘Don’t worry, it is only a bit of wear and tear. Upon which the women reacts with ‘ it is alright for you to say that, but my left knee is just as old and there is nothing wrong with that one’.
The above example shows that such a diagnosis does not really mean anything. It does not make it clear why the ability to repair is not functioning. Let us look at another example. It is an example of a girl with serve acne. We could say then that her immunity is worn out, that it can’t function well anymore because it has been overtaxed. It sounds a bit artificial. That is because it shows one once again that nothing real has been explained.
This is the second way of looking at disease. It is also the most obvious: something is not going well, death may even be threatening. On the inner level disease is often experienced like this. There are people who experience disease to be such a threat that even when they do not have a disease, they are constantly afraid of it.
Allopathy also has this view of disease. The disease is something bad, it comes from outside and it need to be fought… The bacteria and viruses have to be killed at any cost, it is ‘either them or me’. We can also associate this with the archetype of the shadow. Jung calls the negative part in man’s psyche the shadow. Many people are inclined to push this negative part away and to make it unconscious. Afterwards projection may take place, the negative part is put in the outside world and does not seem to exist anymore inside man himself anymore. The same then counts for disease. It is something that you have to keep very far away from yourself, but which at the same time is also a part yourself.
Let us return to our example of the girl with eczema. We can see the eczema then as a threat of bacteria in the skin. The threat is not serious yet, only her skin is being threatened. But it could become serious. The viewpoint of disease as a threat has an analogy to the theory of evolution. The ultimate moral is the survival of the fittest. In disease as a threat the central idea is that you have to defend yourself against all negative influences from outside.
Hahneman also calls disease a ‘state of being’ or a way to live and be. Sankaran links this state of being to the original situation. The outer original situation is then linked to an inner state of being. The inner state is then an adequate reaction to a certain situation in the environment. Looked at it this way the state is then an excellent reaction to the state of the environment. The only problem is that the reaction can be exaggerated. Or that it can stay even while the original situation has disappeared. The useful reaction is maintained and therefore becomes useless, a waste of energy. From the above it will be clear that in homeopathy the root cause of disease is of great importance. The situation in which the disease originated is very important in order to understand the diseased and the disease. Let us return to our example once more. On closer investigation it appears that the parents of the girl with acne are constantly quarrelling. She cannot tolerate this. The imminent divorce of the parents causes a great fear of being abandoned. The girl becomes depressed, she retreats into herself and does not have friends anymore. Sometimes she even gets outbursts of anger when everything gets too anymore. Sometimes she reacts to the quarrels by brooding gloomily. When we look at the complaint in this way, then the symptom of acne is a reaction to the situation in the environment. And the reaction is right in that sense that is good to show her parents that they are causing her pain. Perhaps- they will quarrel less for her sake, perhaps they will give her more attention.
It is very efficient to link remedies to situational causes. It makes it much easier to learn and remember the varying symptoms. They will get a meaning and function in the total reaction pattern. And that it quite different from a indigestible heap of little symptoms in the material medical.
You could also see the reaction patterns of, for instance, the girl in our example as a talent. These survival strategies are also an art or talent. They are an ability to manipulate the environment. You could also call it a strategy, a strategy which works excellently in certain situations in order to make the best of it. It is the positive side of ‘disease’. These reaction patterns are possibilities, talents, abilities to handle situations. Here again the problem is not the talent but the fact that you can’t react in any other way anymore, it become a nuisance. Looked at it this way disease becomes a talent that has gone too far. In other words: the talent turns against you like a boomerang.
Going back to our example you could say that it is rather clever of this girl to make her parents stop fighting. When they see her so silent and gloomy they understand that they are hurting her and they stop quarrelling.
Another approach is to see disease as an illusion, the way sankaran calls it a ‘central delusion’. In every disease there is a central theme, something that the patients perceives wrongly. If you find such a central delusion in a patient and if you can find that delusion descried in any homoeopathic literature then you can prescribe on it. In our example the girl lives with the delusion that quarrelling is threatening and that she will be abandoned. This idea, or rather, this delusion is the central theme of magnesium muriaticum. Therefore if someone has this delusion you can prescribe that remedy. This is also possible if the original situation has long since passed. Or even if the original situation never existed, but is merely present in somebody as a feeling or delusion.
The idea disease as original state is linked to that of delusion. The patient has the delusion of still being in the original situation. The magnesium muriaticum girl first takes on the delusion of being abandoned in a situation when her parents, through their quarrelling, might leave her behind. Whether that original situation still exists later on is of less importance. Thus you could also prescribe magnesium muriaticum when the parents got divorced a long time ago. This idea is comparable to the idea of Masi (told during a seminar) of’ primary psora’. Masi has his own addition to the concept of psora, sycosis and syphilis. He perceives sycosis as an active, positive reaction and syphilis as destructive reaction to a primary problem. That problem being a fear, nostalgia or loss, which masi then calls the primary psora. In the Christian way of thinking masi links this primary psora to the idea of original sin. The idea of primary psora is in reality the same as that of delusion. In the above example of magnesium muriaticum you could say that the fear that her parents quarrel, will separate and will abandon her is the primary psora.
One can also find the disease of the patient in his philosophy of life. The delusion gets translated to a conviction, for instance: all people are bad’ or ‘Nobody loves me. Especially terms like ‘always, never, everybody, nothing’ etc. etera point to the fact that people are speaking from their delusion. Their perception of the world is then seen as if it counts for everyone and at anytime. Thus the norms and values of people are a good representation of their problems.
A nice illustration of the relationship between delusion and disease is shown in the book written by siegel ‘Love, harmony and cure’. A woman has ALS, a paralyzing disease where the muscles waste away. She became conscious of the fact that her thoughts were always on her weight, that she always wanted to become slimmer, because then her problems would probably disappear. Suddenly she realizes ‘is it mere coincidence that I always wanted to have a thinner body and that ALS is now fulfilling this wish?’.
In Hawaii now had the same conception of disease as a belief. The only thing that a kahuna healer’ has to do to cure someone is to change his belief system, the rest of the rituals are a secondary matter. Here also a clear link is made between feeling and belief a feeling is energy which is linked to and bound by a belief.
An interesting point in king’s book is the differentiation between three sorts of belief. First there are opinions about which you can have discussions. Secondly there are convictions. When people are confronted with the opposite of their convictions they become emotional, they start heated discussions and react with strong disapproval. And thirdly there are deeply rooted convictions. They are so deep that people hardly recognize them themselves and their reaction to a confrontation is merely surprise. These last mentioned convictions
One could also see disease as an addiction. Every pattern has its securities. Predictable reactions and possibilities. The unchangeable reaction patterns makes people very predictable, both for themselves and others. The letting go of a state of disease can bring feelings of insecurity with it. One can get feelings of: what do I do instead?’ or ‘ who am I really? ‘ Also, every solutions to a problem gives you a certain kick, which could make you inclined to continue with these patters even in situations where they aren’t appropriate. Let us look at our example. It could be tempting for the girl to remain in her state of being. She has a lovely feeling of being wronged and she does not have to take up responsibilities. If she left her state of depression she would have to start doing something with her life.
We could see disease as protection in direct relation to disease as temptation. A certain attitude can keep a danger or a fear at bay and can therefore give a certain amount of protection. That shows at the same time the tempting aspect of that attitude.
But a certain behavior can also serve as ‘diversion tactice’. By being intensively occupied with your work for instance, you could push away or walk around a deeper problem, such as for instance troubles in your marriage. This sometimes appears to lead to unwanted results in the course of treatment. The problem which lay on the surface has been treated, but with it the underlying problem suddenly comes to the surface in full intensity. And the condition for the patient appears to be aggravated instead of ameliorated.
In this view a complaint is seen as a symbolic expression of a psychological problem. This view point has been accepted throughout history, as many expressions in our language confirm: ‘This a load on my shoulders, ‘ He is a pain in the neck, ‘This is hard to stomach, etc. Our language contains many of these examples.
Many people have also experienced similar feelings. For instance, there are certain problems within the family and it gives you stomach problems. The problems seem to lie heavily in the stomach. in the more chronic complaints this vision is not as easy to use. But it is possible to see all diseases as symbolic. Dethlefsen describes this view extensive in his book ‘The meaning of being ill’.
It is also possible to see disease as a cultural phenomenon. Every culture has its norms and values. When these norms and values are very one sided, they could turn into illusions or delusions. And they could then lead to complaints in the different individuals within culture. In our culture it is ;not done’ to show sadness. You don’t suddenly cry, and definitely not in the open. Even at a funeral of a well loved person you are supposed to remain composed. This in contrast for instance to other cultures where the wailing can be heard from far away, and even is the ‘done thing.
If one compares the different types of psychosis in Europe and japan one can see that there are many types that are exist in both cultures. But there are also many types of psychosis that exist in only one or the other culture. There is always a definite connection to the particular norms and values in that culture.
Disease can also be seen as a myth or fairy tale. Herein we also see certain themes returning. One person’s problem is seldom unique, you can find it within many people.
Myths and fairy tales are the expression of this fact. If somebody recognizes his own problem in a fairy tale it can touch deeply. The seminars in Bad Boll have shown that many remedies show a preference for a certain type of fairy tale. Someone who is ill therefore takes part in a certain kind of problem. Via the myth one is connected to the whole of humanity. Often the myth also offers the solution to the problem and can thus be a real help. Campbell says ; ‘if you can find out where someone is blocked, it must be possible to find the mythological key to unlock this door.
On the other hand you could say that, by solving his own problems, someone could help humanity to solve its mythological problems. It has become apparent that the best help with a certain problem can be given by those people, who themselves have had and solved that same type of problem. They are best able to feel the essence of the problem and to know where solutions are to be found and where only temporary solutions will fail. Alcoholics Anonymous’ is a good example of this.
Finally there is the view of disease as creation. you could then call disease to be ‘spiritosomatic’ analogous to the terms psychosomatic. A human being crates a certain state within himself and then looks for a fitting situation around that. Here we see the circumstances not as the cause of disease, but instead man is cause of his disease and creator of the circumstances.
In this viewpoint the responsibility comes back to man himself. He himself becomes responsible for his disease and the situation. But within the ability of creating a disease also lies the ability of finding a solution. Man then has the ability to change, to let go of old problems and to create new possibilities. This then is the level at which diseases are created and resolved. Form this viewpoint of disease as creation, terms like good and bad are not applicable anymore. One simply has a whole range of states, creations with experiences belonging to them.
Naming specific emotions such as love, anger and fear is easier than finding an all-purpose definition. In fact there is no scientific consensus on how to define emotion. Most scientist agree that emotions are different from rational thought (congition), from information known through our senses (perception), and from storing of the information (memory), yet emotions interact with all these mental function.
Not only is the concept of emotion vague and complicated, but also it gets mixed up with other terms, adding to the confusion. Some scientists regard the term ‘Affect’ as synonymous with emotion, but to others, affect means only the part of an emotion that is experienced consciously, aside from any unconscious or bodily responses. In our context, emotion and affect will be synonymous.
As brain develops, emotions grow more complex. Not until the age of two months when the brain advanced enough to manage the first real smile. Four months later, a baby begins to show a fear of separation. As we grow older, our expectations are challenged. For example, if we hope to get a job and then do not, anger disappointment and self-doubt are felt. All these feelings occur at once and add up to a complex total response.
Emotions shade into one another, researchers cannot agree on what counts as a separate emotion. When does impatience turn into anger? Depending upon how such questions are answered, the total number of emotions could be dozens or thousands. Many psychologists have tried to shortlist emotins to the most basic one. Robert pluchik lists eight basic emotions.
Acceptance, anger, anticipation, disgust, fear, joy, sadness and surprise. Some researchers think it is senseless to try to count emotions, because the number is virtually countless. That is why some feel emotions depends entirely on the thinking. Experience and memory of the individual-who is unique among all the people who ever lived.
What triggers or arouses an emotion?
How, after being aroused, body and mind respond or express their reaction?
How our physical and mental responses further change the way we experience an emotion?
Thus, emotion really involves three mysteries, Arousal, Expression and Imprinting.
Theories abound on what triggers an emotional response. One that makes sense to many of today’s scientists, states that emotions are aroused when we detect a “discrepancy”. This could be some thing new, a disturbance or some other interruption in the normal and expected course of things.
Once emotions are aroused, what happens immediately is automatic, out of control of the conscious mind (the autonomic response).
Amounting to bodily arousal several visceral or “gut” reactions occur, but if they are intense or prolonged it is identical to stress. The heart beats faster, the liver is stimulated to release more energy, releasing glucose into the blood stream, changes in respiratory rate leads to pumping of more oxygen into the body, and the stomach and intestine tighten, the pupils of the eyes dilate, saliva dries up but sweat flows more freely, and skin surface contracts causing a crawly feeling or ‘goose-bumps’. This physical response to emotion is termed ‘stress response’ (flight, fight, fright response) and is governed by Hypothalmic-Limbic-Sympathetic and Autonomic-Adrenal axis.
What happens next is that these bodily events register in the conscious mind. The next step, how the mind reacts, depends entirely on the thinking and memory processes leading to a somewhat delayed physical and behavioral response which is under control of the conscious mind. The response is best expressed on the face.
Researchers believe there are some facial expressions immediately identifiable regardless of the age, sex or sadness, anger and disgust. Most other facial expression are strongly influenced by one’s upbringing and individuality. Mixed emotions like surprise, joy, pride, relief and exhaustion, struggle for expression.
Remember an emotion that persists that persists becomes a mood and a persistent expression in the long run causes a shift in health and behavior. How people express their emotions or in other words their behavior, is a significant clue to mental health. However there is a wide range of behaviors which are normal and a diagnosis of mental illness is rarely made on the basis of one or two seemingly abnormal emotional episodes.
If a person expresses a response to emotion in a way that falls well within the normal range, psychologists say the person is showing Appropriate Affect. On the other hand, people who express less range of emotions are said to have constricted Affect. The apparent reverse of this affect is seen in people who overtly express emotion and they are the ones with Exalted Affect. However, there are people who seem to ride on an emotional roller-coaster, laughing one moment and crying the next; this condition is termed in-stable Affect. If such emotional responses are severe and long lasting, they are called Effective disorders.
Perhaps the Most valueable mental asset is self-esteem, a self image that the individual likes and respects. Without it, we have little chance of possessing what philosophers and scientists have called by many names: Vedic Ahamkara, a sound ego an intact psyche, a healthy personality, a fulfilled self or simply a wise and resourceful mind.
It is a wonder that human beings have an array of defences to protect their self-esteem or Freudian ego. “Threats” come in many disguise, such as anxiety, guilt, shame and conflict between two or more drives or emotions and conflict between two or more drives or emotions. As individuals we continuously face these threats. Often, emotions are automatically repressed repressed and pushed them into unconscious mind. Such repression may be most basic ego defence mechanism, a term Sigmund Freud used to describe the ego’s effort to resolve conflicts between the primal, the moralistic superego and eternal reality.
This concept of ego and defence mechanism was hinted by Hahnemann when he illustrates some sickness spun in the soul. In the recent homeopathic literature a term has crept in ‘Basic delusion’ by this terms the authors mean a basic error in psyche against which a basic ego defence mechanism is constructed and this basic error for a homeopath is a key point in the beginning of chronic diseases. Defence mechanisms were once considered neurotic, but that view has mellowed. The prevailing opinion is that they are at times necessary solutions to the problem of preserving self-esteem.
Freud and his successors identified dozens of defence mechanisms beginning with repression/ suppression. Projection is blaming some body else for one’s own thoughts or actions. Rationaliszation justifies questionable behavior by defining its propriety. Reaction formation is acting exactly opposite to the way one feels, because the real feeling frightens.
The trouble with repressing bad feelings is, that they may pop out later. For example, a child may repress anger caused by anxiety over the unpredictable behavior of a parent. As an adult the child’s anger can erupt in rebellion against all authority.
Here, a prescription is based primarily on some past trauma, illness or event rather than on the presenting symptoms. The stronger the cause-and-effect relationship between the trauma and the presenting state, the more is the etiological prescription is indicated.
In cases with a direct aetiology, there is a clear and direct relationship between the presenting problem and the trauma which preceded it, no matter how long the problem has persisted. For example, when a patient say ( I have had recurrent headaches ever since a head injury three years ago”) that is a direct etiology. In such a case, a ‘head injury’ remedy first is to be looked for, using the symptoms of the case to differentiate between the remedies in that group. Kent’s repertory contains many etiological rubrics showing those remedies, which from clinical experience have an established reputation in curing ailments following a particular trauma, be it grief, fright, bad news, vaccination, injury, poisoning etc. the appropriate rubric is a good starting place in a case displaying a direct etiology.
Sometimes when the cause and effect relationship is very clear, particularly if there are no outstanding symptoms in the case, the etiology can completely over-rule symptomatology as the basis for the prescription. Thus it is that our ‘trauma’ remedies such as Aconite, Arnica and Hypericum have cured many symptoms and conditions, which never appeared in their respective proving.
In a case having a direct etiology there are three choices for the prescriber: the prescription may be based on the etiology alone, on the symptoms alone or on combination of the two. It is seen that wherever possible the third option is the most reliable one, but the etiology should be used as a starting point provided there are remedies known to have that etiology as a confirmed indication.
To begin with, we must recognize that the human organism is not an isolated entity, sufficient unto itself. Every individual is born, lives, and dies inseparably from the larger contexts of physical, social, political, and spiritual influences. The laws governing the physical universe are not separate from those governing the functions of living organisms. So, we must begin by comprehending clearly the setting in which the human being is found, how it influences him, and in turn how he affects it.
As with all things, the human organism was originally designed to function harmoniously and compatibly in the environment are mutually benefited. Any imbalance inevitably leads to destruction, which diminishes both the human being and the universe in which he or she lives. Since human beings are endowed with consciousness and awareness, they carry a great responsibility, both for their own benefit and for that of the Cosmos, to live according to the laws of Nature. Ideally, the human race should have enough consciousness and awareness to live within and contribute to the order of the universe, and thereby be freed to achieve the highest possibilities of evolution.
Instead, we find ourselves in the midst of disorder and disease. In the midst of an age of unprecedented technological advancement, we also see unprecedented damage being done to the atmosphere, the water, and the land. Socially, it is easy to pessimistically conjecture that the modern epidemics of competition, violence, and war may well lead to the actual destruction of the human race. And individually-instead of rejoicing in an increasing degree of vibrant health from generation to generation we witness a continuous decline in health.
Human violations of laws of nature, resulting in contamination of the environment, which in turn places increased stress on the ability of the individual to function.
Mankind has gradually lost the inner awareness which would have enabled correct perception of the laws of nature, which must be respected.
Thus we see that both collectively and individually human beings are simultaneously affecting and are affected by the environment as we deviate increasingly from the laws of nature, a vicious cycle is established which requires grate insight and energy to correct.
For each individual in this situation, there may be a wide variety of possible responses to external stresses. Some people seem to be relatively unaffected by external or internal disturbances. Their organisms are in a state of relative balance which is maintained with minimal effort. Most people, on the other hand, experience degrees of imbalance ranging from slight to very severe this are the individuals we consider dis-eased, in the broadest use of the term. In such people, the disturbance manifests itself in a highly individualistic and varied manner, but always the disturbance can be viewed as an imbalance in the organism’s ability to cope with internal and external influences. If we consider the individual as totality, it is clear that the disturbances do not manifest themselves solely on the physical level of existence, as assumed in modern allopathic medical practice. The entire person is disturbed on all levels of existence, to varying degrees.