“If you change the way you look at things the things you look at change”[1] The way we see the world, and our clients indicate the healing outcome. …. Ponderings on Sankaran’s Levels of Experience.

A discussion with colleagues recently threw up more questions than answers; are we talking past each other or is there even more learning to unpack. The latter I believe… stemming from the double slit experiment which shows how an observer affects the outcome of an interaction, that the act of observing a system affects it profoundly[2].

So as much as our good intentions prevail, there is no such thing as the unprejudiced observer. As student homeopaths we were so often advised to emulate the still relevant and worthy adage of those masters of old. Homeopathy certainly evolves along with the rapidly widening knowledge of our universe, and we now know a lot better perhaps.

The homeopath brings their perception and prejudices to the consultation / ‘case-taking’ and the follow-on depends on both mindsets of the two persons. Awareness of the ways we perceive and our personal prejudices, give us more freedom to park them when they arise so we give full attention to the person before us.

Using Sankaran’s Schema[3] he outlines the 7 levels of experience a client may describe their symptoms beginning with the more superficial description of the presenting symptom, and dropping down through the levels to a more intimate portrayal of the state.

1) Name/ diagnosis – a burn 

 2) Fact – it burns

3) Feeling – fear the burning will intensify and I won’t be able to work

4) Delusion – my skin will peel off and no-one will come near me

 5) Sensation – as if I am left hollow, separate and unprotected.

6) Energy – the pattern – I am dissolving, floating in water, buoyant[4].

 7) Consciousness / nothingness – a state of bliss?

These 7 levels are a guide for the homeopath in case taking, the level reached also points to the potency used, as it resonates with the depth of the client’s unique state. It appears to be an unspoken assumption that the client sits at their presenting level stubbornly and we as practitioners are not to expect a deeper dive.

I would venture to question this perceived ‘obstacle’, that when the practitioner holds the intent that the client may willingly drop further into deeper levels of experience in exploring their condition; this occurs, and with ease even. We only have to wait, patiently.

As practitioners we also must be cognizant of our own personal level, that we each operate from – are we therapeutic prescribers staying at the name/ fact levels or do we live our world at a level of patterns. Which floor do we get off at and which glasses are we viewing our world from? Which level are we able and comfortable in guiding our clients to?

If I as a practitioner see the world at level 3- attempting to ‘understand’ the client and their symptomatology in order to prescribe, then the prescription will be made on that structured level along the lines of cause and effect. True it may be the simillimum is found at that level, without needing to go further – the one that resonates right through all patterns of the individual, but often it is not. To avoid boxing ourselves in to a closed model we owe it to ourselves and our clients to sink down some more…

The homeopath is being asked continually to deepen their connection to themselves, their environment, and our wonderful relatives of all descriptions, four and eight legged, winged, furred, minerals, plants etc; so we may be open to the variety of worlds that are brought through our door. Openhearted and with open minds- I encourage myself to be confident in homeopathy as the incredible healing art it is, which means so much more to me than an allopathic medical therapy. If I am perceiving my world from a sensation or pattern level then I anticipate I may open the consulting room space wide. When the client drops in and down into themselves, they begin to describe their wonderful absurdity. I would say craziness also, but some may mistake my meaning and their fear of insanity may bark at them. Yes, we are all a tad crazy, (and I add I am enjoyably so.) Insanity is a different diagnosis and much misunderstood in its manifestation and potential.

Back to those deeper levels of 5 and 6 – at those particular levels I am trusting the prescription will include and enfold so much more than a dis-ease name. The absurdity of our beings, how we in no way make any sense at these innermost levels; and this ability we can practice of sitting with absurdity is the true friend of the homeopathic prescriber. As homeopaths if we are able to hold the myriad possibilities within us, then they are more easily shown to us without, in our clients. Leaving the binary logic of either true or false, we enter the labyrinth of many pathways, to wait until we are handed the threads that weave all into a pattern we recognise and further onto a complete prescription.

In my experience to attempt to ‘understand’ a client uses up valuable time and energy, and offers little to the wonder of the person before me. I avoid formulaic analysis that prevents the fullness of expression to meander and sing its way into the room.  Yes, I bring in analysis and repertorization in later (once the client has left generally), to make a final decision, but my love and enjoyment of homeopathy rests in the appreciation of the weirdness and courageousness of our common humanity and how we all mirror each other. I may know you because a part of me lives in you and vice versa.

As practitioners if we presume to expect order in our consulting rooms, then we are missing out on the beauty of our existences, and are bound to struggle in our art. To be the best homeopaths we can be we are asked to explore our own psyches, our own patterns, and bring them to awareness and healing if that is what is called for. We cannot expect our clients to go into territory we ourselves have no signposts for. To be familiar with most if not all 7 levels of experience is to offer our clients a reflective mirror, and the opportunity to be fully aware of aspects of their nature they wish to be healed.

Homeopathy is an incredible tool – a paintbrush and also the painting – it is capable of rapidly alleviating pain and promoting healing, on the emotional level it is capable of releasing and balancing emotions leaning to intensity. It also has the capacity to offer an expansion and freedom of vitality while being caught up in the pirouette of life, seen in a dog chasing its tail, a sycamore spiralling in the breeze, or a dancer aware of the air on her cheeks, as she circles on the point of her gravity.

The patterns we each respond to and that we inhabit are shared with the homeopath at those deepest levels. We are multi-layered beings and there is no one size fits all. Homeopathy is one healing modality out of many to choose from and if we continue as practitioners to plumb those depths of knowledge and experience, then we also will live a fulness of vitality brought by loving and living our profession and enjoy the results it is capable of bringing.

[1] Wayne Dyer

[2] https://plus.maths.org/content/physics-minute-double-slit-experiment-0

[3] Sankaran’s Schema 2005 edition Homoeopathic Medical Publishers Mumbai p49

4) Possibly the levels here describe the remedy Astacus- freshwater crayfish.