Published in Homoeopathy International (Summer 2008)
Understanding rubrics is the first step towards a successful selection of remedy. One must be thoroughly familiar with the stock of rubrics so far as their meaning is concerned. Here a good repertory is of great help. No matter which repertory we use, it will never, ever give us the right remedy in a straight shot. So, we must use the repertory from the perspective of a certain philosophy and principle, and never use it simply as a mechanical tool.
Selection of the right remedy depends on many factors:
The patient's narration or expression of their symptoms: Here we must know how to convert the patient’s symptoms into the language of repertory.
The physician's ability to make keen observations of symptoms.
The physician's skill in interpreting symptoms: The best interpretations come from understanding the situation of a patient. This usually must be understood in the form of a story or in a form of an evolution. Let’s take an example.
A boy wants to become an artist. From a very young age he loves to read books related to the arts, he loves to draw and paint, and is very excited on seeing related television programs. He is enthusiastic about taking part in art competitions and he loves to visit museums and art galleries. Added to this, he has a very dominating father. The father says "Look, you cannot make money by studying at a school of arts. You have to study business so you can get a good job and make lots of money." Then conflict starts in the mind of the child, regarding his burning desire to be an artist against the restrictions from his parents to pursue commercial education.
Now, how are we going to interpret these symptoms? Never assume you have a correct interpretation of the symptom without confirmation from the patient - that is, never ever interpret from your own imagination.
In the case given above, we must understand that the child wants to do something but the dominating parents restrict him - and ultimately the child surrenders.
In this case the rubric we select, may be
‘Mind-contradictory, actions are contradictory to intentions’
or it may also be ‘Antagonism with self’
or we may also take the rubric ‘Ailments from domination’
Once we decide on one of these rubrics, we must confirm its accuracy with the patient.
Then we take it in a case analysis.
Sometimes there are cases where it is difficult to find the exact feelings of the patient in the form of a rubric. Let's take the example of a person who is in many ways an
extrovert, but he does not share his feelings with anybody. Is it correct to take the rubric Reserved? Or should we take Reserved displeasure? Because this person is primarily an extrovert, he is not well described by these choices. So the correct rubric may well be ‘Hides his inner feelings’
As another example, consider a person who has a strong aversion to quarrels, violence, arguments etc. Here, it is not always correct to take 'Quarrel, aversion to'. Depending on the situation, ‘desire for harmony’ may be a better rubric.
The next step is the use of the rubrics in metaphorical way, in expanded sense. For this we must look to the surroundings, keep our eyes and ears open during our day to day conversations with people. One should proceed from meaning to expressions. Merely collecting expressions and finding their equivalent rubrics is of help but to some extent only because the expression may amount to any one of several rubrics or more than one rubric. Likewise one rubric may have a variety of expressions. So, we must have a thorough knowledge of how to differentiate the rubrics which seem to have a somewhat similar meaning.
Here’s an attempt:
*Abusive, Cursing & Contemptuous’
* Abusive: One should consider this symptom in conjunction with the heading ‘Cursing’ in order to distinguish between the two. Both concern verbal attacks on people or things. The abusive person uses rude and insulting words in order to offend others, whereas cursing is the vivid expression of surprise or annoyance. In assessing these symptoms, one must bear in mind the patient’s education & background. Here we must know how to differentiate this rubric from ‘Contemptuous’. The contemptuous person not only belittles other people but also feels superior to them. In his scorn there is indifference, rejection & sometimes even loathing. The symptom is most easily recognizable in racists who despise any racial group to whom they feel superior. We can differentiate it with ‘Rudeness & Insolent’ as well. The rude person is impolite and coarse in word & deed. Like the insolent person he has absolutely no consideration for anyone else, but the rude person adds a dash of crudeness & bad taste whereas insolence is a lack of respect. It may be detected in patients during consultation, although few will admit to it. Look for an attitude of excessive casualness & confidence, the impertinence implicit in all the movements. This person is ill-mannered & completely lacking in modesty.
* Fanaticism, Anarchist & Revolutionary
A fanatic person may be readily identified by his attitude & behaviour. Within a group he will be passionately enthusiastic in support of an idea. The greater the validity of an objection, the more aggressive and dogged will be his defense of them. He would rather die than admit that he might be wrong and his adversary right. This may lead him to compound his problems to an absurd degree, rather than to try to solve them. His blindness and lack of flexibility prevent him from clarifying his on thoughts or from exchanging ideas. He shuts himself off from all other points of view.
Fanaticism is more often used in context with religious mania.
Anarchist: An Anarchist means one who rebels against any authority, established order or ruling power or one who uses violent means to overthrow the established order. Rejection of all forms of control & authority.
In terms of intensity of obstinacy or craziness an Anarchist is more intense than a Fanatic. A fanatic can not be an anarchist but an anarchist can be a fanatic.
If intensity increases to yet another higher degree then an anarchist becomes a revolutionary.
Fanaticism: Aur-ar, Caust, Lach, Puls, Rob, Sel, Sulph, Thuja
Anarchist: Arg Nit, Caust, Kali Carb & Merc
If we have a look on the medicines mentioned, we can easily predict that how a Causticum Fanatic (grade1) converts into an Anarchist (grade 2) & a Merc Anarchist (grade 2) converts into a revolutionary (grade 3).
We can also co-relate it miasmatically,
Fanaticism -------------------------- Psora
Anarchist ---------------------------- Sycosis
Revolutionary ---------------------- Syphilitic
* Frivolous, Foolishness & Childish behaviour
Frivolous means: Unworthy of serious attentions. Trivial nature of anything he comes in contact with.
The frivolous person is vacuous & superficial. He is devoted to casual relationships, drunkenness, debauchery, fine cigarettes, wild parties & pornographic films. His sole ideal is the pleasure of empty distraction. He achieves nothing important or substantial.
A frivolous person might narrate his complaints with laughing as if he were not very serious about it.
We must know how to differentiate this rubric with foolishness & childish behaviour. Foolish or clownish behaviour in children is easily observed during the consultation. These attempts to be funny or amusing often indicate that the child has low self-esteem, or it may be a means of calling for attention.
A frivolous person knows the after-effects or ill-effects of his negligence but still he doesn’t cares about that, whereas a foolish person don’t even know what could be the ill-effects.
The symptom also occurs in patients with an emotional immaturity (Pulsatilla, Ignatia), exaggerated fixation on parental images, need for protection, emotional instability, egoism, jealousy, difficulty in resolving problems etc. Childish behaviour should not be confused with ‘Imbecility’ or with ‘Idiocy’ which involve mental disability. ‘Imbecility’ covers a mental age of between three & seven years, and ‘Idiocy’ one of not more than three years.
So, a frivolous person is one who does not appreciate the serious nature of anything he comes in conduct with – In appropriately silly.
* Fastidious, Censorious & Conscientious *
Fastidious: means difficult to please or suit. Delicate to a fault. Everything has to be "just so". "Disdainful; squeamish; rejecting what is common or not very nice; suited with difficulty". This person is excessively scrupulous and meticulous. He gives careful attention to details, (another PERFECTIONIST) and is excessively concerned with cleanliness. *Censorious* Censorious is a person who see every action of others with critic eye especially for the sake of disapproving ,censorious can be for any behaviour, personality, structure, animate or inanimate thing and he has no fixed standards to be met with . while on contrast Fastidious has some standards to be met with and is not pleased till the parameters set by him are fulfilled and these standards are usually for inanimate objects like fastidious for dressing, cleanliness, taste, time, order of things and he gets satisfied when his standards are met with while censorious is always criticizing others and most of times like capricious, he himself never knows what is right but he
would say that i dont know what is right but this is wrong, while fastidious would always explain you what is right and how it is to be done, this can be further verified by looking at drugs like baryta ,lyco, china, cham, lachesis, calc, ip, caps, cocculus, hyos all these drugs are censorious but not fastidious Sub-headed "critical". Fault-finding - Censorious also encompasses the modern expression "judgmental". "Apt to blame or condemn; severe in making remarks on others, or on their writings or manners". He who is “Censorious” is more concerned with the actions of others as such than is he who is "Fastidious".
*Conscientious* (about trifles): Equated by Kent with Scrupulous. The patient takes an undue or disproportionate amount of trouble over tasks which cannot be understood as being of more than minor significance. This may be seen in the amount of trouble taken either over the task itself or over making sure that it is completed. (cf. "Trifles seem important"). The word conscientious also describes a person who is strongly guided by a sense of right or wrong, which does things in a way he deems correct. He is honest to himself and to others and would not normally neglect his duties. He is loyal to his job; this person also lies on the verge of being a perfectionist. This is quite close to being “fastidious” and “censorious” but may not be necessarily so. This person is thorough & assiduous and is gifted with extremely caring nature and does great efforts.
Let’s take an example:
Suppose you are late for a meeting, then fastidious person will not tolerate or if you create disorder in room fastidious person will point you out and they’ll point out that don’t do this or that. So seeing superficially he may appear censorious, finding fault but when we go deep, we’ll realize that his concerns are different. His problem is that he cannot be satisfied in respect to time, order or cleanliness or something which he consider important, as he is having his own standards regarding his issues of life, it may be his behavior which may be adapted as in Carcinosin or it may be his temperament and it may or may not involve other person as fastidious is same with himself. But censoriousness is a attitude of person to be critical, fault finding in other and other person may or may not correct in that respect. The censorious or fault finding person is systematically critical of other people, and does not pardon even the slightest faults. He loves to identify shortcomings in other people and to let them know of them. It is not at all for the improvement of the latter as in critic but it is destructive and he is ready to criticize and never praise. Conscientious is totally different from both of them, it is not an attitude of a person but it from inside i.e. By virtue of person, he only listen to his or her conscious and his decision does not depend upon the condition and who is standing in front of him, it is not related with other person it is one own personal understanding and come with teaching and conditioning of a person.
So, this is just a brief idea as to how we should differentiate the rubrics & apply the exact rubric for repertorization & for finding a true similimum. We must know that there are rubics differing in shades of meaning and it may need all our intelligence, care & contemplation to fully realize these shades of meaning.