The most awaited book ‘Homeopathy through Harmony and Totality’ Major writings of Dr Ajit Kulkarni, an international teacher of Homoeopathy, was released at LIGA congress, Italy, by Fritjof Capra, Ph.D., a scientist, educator, activist, and author of many international bestsellers like The Turning Point (1982), The Web of Life (1996), The Hidden Connections (2002), The Science of Leonardo (2007), and Learning from Leonardo (2013). He coauthored Green Politics (1984), Belonging to the Universe (1991), and EcoManagement (1993), and coedited Steering Business Toward Sustainability (1995)} that connect conceptual changes in science with broader changes in worldview and values in society.
Fritjof Capra appreciated Dr Ajit Kulkarni’s contribution to Homeopathy and welcomed the book by Dr Ajit Kulkarni. Capra commented that the book is in line with the holistic and systemic thinking he has been advocating through his insightful writings esp. his most recent book, ‘The Systems View of Life’, which presents a grand new synthesis – integrating biological, cognitive, social and ecological dimensions of life into one unified vision.
We are proud that our teacher, Dr Ajit Kulkarni’s book has been released by none other than a distinguished scientist of the world, Dr Fritjof Capra. Dr Capra read Dr Kulkarni’s book, “Body language and Homeopathy” and an eternal bond is created between them.
Book Review: Homeopathy Through Harmony And Totality
Name of the book: Homeopathy through Harmony and Totality Vol 1
Authored by: Dr. Ajit Kulkarni
Published by: B. Jain Publishers (P) Ltd., New Delhi
Price: Rs. 499/- Pages: 280
Reviewed by: Dr Alexander Martushev, M.D. Ph.D. M.F. Hom. Moscow, Russia
Over the years, I have seen a sad tendency that there is decrease in the quality of homeopathic profession due to lack of clinical understanding, lack of Materia medica knowledge, drawbacks in miasmatic coverage, deviations from genuine homeopathic methodology, attempts to “rediscover”, “revolutionize”, “renovate” homeopathy (as if something necessitates the ‘modern revolutionists’ in homeopathy and that too without scientific approach). Of course, this tendency is a function of many social trends and drifts which is turning medical profession into an industrial factory, degradation of medical (classical, clinical, not algorithmic) education, the evolution of consumer society and so forth. But also, there is one more reason of this tendency, i.e. the shortage of deep homeopathic literature that remains within the truly classical homeopathic methodology but considers all contemporary changes in medical, pharmacological, psychological, social and even technological life. The literature that is interesting to read inspires deep thinking, needs to be referred to during practical work, touches the mind of laymen, medical (homeopathic) students and serious medical (homeopathic) professionals. The other aim of this high-quality literature is to connect past and present, to follow insights and thoughts of late homeopathic stalwarts into modern events and transformations that were seen from their experience and practice. This aim is often neglected nowadays, but only this concept forms the real continuity – of understanding, methodology, education, practice and results.
This book “HOMEOPATHY THROUGH HARMONY AND TOTALITY” by Dr. Ajit Kulkarni breaks this sad tendency. His literature covers many empty spaces that remain now in homeopathic training and education, in homeopathic practice, as well as in the better understanding of homeopathic philosophy and methodology. The evidence is that nearly no aspect of importance and vital homeopathic moments escape from the penetrating and attentive eye of Dr Ajit Kulkarni. It’s amazing, if we note that he does these efforts in his inimitable style in spite of his busy homeopathic practice in India and outside, as well as his time-consuming travels for domestic and international seminars in Bulgaria, Russia, Italy, Turkey, Israel, Ukraine, and other countries, along with his scrupulous work on scientific heritage of Dr Tarkas and on Absolute Homeopaathic Materia Medica and the repertory based on it, as well as his unique contribution of ‘Body Language and Homeopathy’. I am happy that his precious invaluable treasure has not gone into oblivion.
Compendium of articles on various aspects of homeopathy is much more preferable than a monograph for many reasons. The monograph is attached to some concept, theme, sphere or at least way or method of understanding the point of view. On the contrary, his collection of articles is not obliged to follow these rules: they can be eclectic, comprise multiple viewpoints and emphasize different aspects of the whole. Really valuable about Dr Ajit Kulkarni’s articles is that they are truly colourful, multidimensional, deep and they combine various approaches and angles. This is a pure gem for everyone who is interested in understanding actual practical homeopathy from working everyday experience.
VOLUME ONE includes ‘An Exegesis of Dr Kulkarni’s philosophical writings’ and ‘Mind and Above’.
HOMEOPATHIC Philosophy is the most difficult and deep subject. Regrettably, this subject is improperly taught in colleges and basic homeopathic courses. As a result, homeopathic philosophy appears groundless and separated from everyday practice and homeopathic methodology seems to be based on some occult, accidental, illogical or even metaphysical, mystical and magical rules.
Homeopathy, an integrated system and Homeopathy ahead are the best specimens to introduce homeopathy to the readers and they combine the basic ideas and modern insights. Through the Law of Similars in medical science, Dr Ajit Kulkarni has positioned the salubrious value of homeopathy in a convincing manner, by appraising the curative principle of Similia as followed in several medical disciplines. Ajit’s assertion that the Law of Similars stands as a connecting thread between all medical therapies is a worthy note.
Homeopathy as a holistic medicine cannot avoid touching the philosophic sphere through methodologic aspects, understanding the complexity of human nature and disease processes. We all know the healing method originated in India, Ayurveda and it’s holistic philosophy which follows human life processes in connection with homeopathic principles and methodology, ways of integration of natural sciences with homeopathy, all of these matters blend homeopathy with the real wisdom of life, of science, of traditional philosophic views and Ajit has vividly brought them out through Perceiving life processes and Ayurveda and Homeopathy and Yoga and Holism.
With ‘Trinity in Holism’, Ajit brings onto the fore, the magnitude of three as spontaneously crafted by Nature and designed by the Human artists. The searching mind of Ajit covers a wide spectrum of trinity.
Miasmatic understanding remains among the most difficult points in homeopathic training and practical work. Dr Ajit Kulkarni, a well-known teacher, demonstrates a unique ability to explain difficult matters in scientific, practical and intellectually comprehensible way, with analytical thinking giving readers educational and clinical insights. His unique chart on miasms based on the energy pattern precisely summarizes, what the concept is, in its true spirit.
Psychology nowadays has become not only an additional instrument for homeopathy, along with Materia medica and repertory but also as a cornerstone in clinical homeopathic work. New and old psychological techniques, psychoanalytical methods become more and more familiar and are widely used by homeopaths. Thus, study of dispositions and personality types is truly essential and thoroughly covered in articles of Dr Ajit Kulkarni who works as an experienced clinical counsellor, by the way.
Integration of clinical approach and homeopathy is receiving more attention today. Articles like ‘Stress and Homeopathy’, reconnoitre many clinical entities in homeopathic perspective. Ajit’s in-depth study of basic emotions like Anger, Anxiety, Conscience, Grief, etc. renders a well-organized effort and lays the path to make the future generation aware of creating new rubrics essential in practice.
Teachings of Dr Ajit Kulkarni have case-taking and interview skills as an essential integral part, along with body language that was made extremely popular because of Ajit’s recent contribution “Body language and Homeopathy”. Needless to repeat, but all instruments of understanding human nature are of great benefit to homeopathy, for the sake of remedy selection and other parts of homeopathic practice. The three mighty articles elaborating these instruments include Inter-personal relationship, Excess in hoarding and Dreams.
Failures are, however, a sad part of medical practice, even of experienced doctors. Analysing sources of failures demonstrates personal and professional maturity, an ability to learn, to rectify and to go beyond. ‘Causes of failure in practice’ is one of the genuine attempts of the author, to be honest with himself, with colleagues and with patients.
SECOND and THIRD VOLUME comprises the study of Homeopathic Materia medica, Repertory, Data processing and prescribing, Therapeutics, Illustrative cases and Interaction with Dr Ajit Kulkarni.
“Homeopathic materia medica” covers a wide field.
Understanding philosophic background of Homeopathic Materia medica and methodology is a difficult process that requires specific view different from the simple dualistic approach. Article on Anekantvada principle in understanding and study of Materia medica presents beautiful integration of Indian philosophy and homeopathic methodology, that is worthy to read.
The article on Monogram opens a new frontier of the study of Materia medica, of combining clinical, pathological, psychological and patho-physiological and miasmatic aspects of every remedy. This is truly a synthetic approach giving new insight into serious and practical work. Monogram should become a golden standard of study, free of speculations and theorizing, a source of integration of various books of Materia medica with clinical approach. It is interesting to see how Ajit brings forth Boger’s concept of pathological generals. The blend of physical pathology and mental state of the patient is understood in a better way with the concept of monogram.
Another trustworthy way to study Materia medica is the Group Study that is presented in Dr Ajit Kulkarni’s articles on Argentums, Mercuries, Carbons, Alkalines, Spiders, Ammoniums, and many others. Group study has become very popular nowadays, as it enables the practitioners to bring into the practical application some not so well-proved medicines, to understand many remedies in various layers – that is very functional for differential diagnosis in final remedy selection, for integration of Materia medica with clinical orientation. The titles of some groups are interesting too- Argentums: Intrinsic but arbitrary… Mercurius international: Hip-hop dancing… Ferrums: Now comes the rein of iron… Carbons: Between living and dying…Alkalines: Look at all the life on the earth… The Spiders: Godless eight-legged bastards…etc. etc.
Thematic study of Materia medica is exemplified by Dr Ajit Kulkarni’s articles on Ferrum, Opium, Snakes, and others. Being a seemingly separate aspect in remedial totality, the special theme works, however, as logical induction tool. It helps to view factual material in a general way, to form tendencies, correlations and rules. Another aspect of the thematic study is the doctrine of signatures, presented in a more practical way with the symbolism of snakes (in connection with Lachesis). The doctrine of signatures is also a convenient method to understand groups of remedies, to make them well-defined to practitioners, to correlate ideas with clinical hints. Dr Ajit, however, don’t forget to point the limitations of this approach.
Exploring Remedy Relations is a definite strong point of Dr Ajit Kulkarni, kept after Dr Tarkas. Like the Monogram, this way of study should be included into the syllabus of homeopathy, describing the background and environment of remedy actions and properties based on stages, phases, sectors and patterns. The study of the Trio Pulsatilla-Fluoric acid-Silicea is an example of how deep and clinically verified this study can be, how integrated Materia medica actually is. Another interesting specimen is ‘Inheritance, constitutional approach and remedy relations’.
Most of the modern homeopathic literature is devoted to new remedies. However, many problems arise from these novelties – from improper provings (and consequent fragmentary, incomplete and biased data), because of some practitioners’ tendency of using “novelty” remedies rather than “old-fashioned polychrests”. Articles on New, uncommon or rare remedies (including DNA and sarcodes), presented by Dr Ajit Kulkarni, are practically oriented, closely connected with the clinical process and demonstrate the real value of these remedies – promising virtue, but necessitating further studies of clinical and differential aspects.
Remedial studies are certainly aimed at better clinical results. That’s especially true for acutes – a crash-test of practitioner’s knowledge of Materia medica, clinical processes, and whole homeopathic methodology. Dr Ajit Kulkarni’s article on ‘Comparative study of Aconite, Belladonna and Arsenicum album’ gives some safety bag for proper orientation in acute manifestations, with very clear practical hints. “The acute Prescribing” is a masterpiece as it gives clear guidelines how to construct the acute totality.
Describing “Portrait”, “Personality” of various remedies has become a fashion. But this dangerous fashion pushed many practitioners to ‘fixed image’ of polychrests, to ‘standardized’ prescriptions in so-called trivial conditions, to disrespect the individuality and peculiarity of the disease or the patient. Articles on Personalities of remedies (Belladonna, Mercury, Helonias dioica, Natrum muriaticum etc.) in Dr Ajit Kulkarni’s compendium is against this wrong fashion – multiple “personalities” of every remedy are described, a way out of ‘fixed image’ is shown, necessity to follow hard data of clinical and individual value is emphasized and no imaginary ideas are bombarded.
The study of nosodes is not new in homeopathy. Books and articles from years ago to nowadays have described different aspects of nosodes – pharmacy, materia medica, clinical application and posology. Dr Ajit Kulkarni found some new points that are interesting and practical about nosodes. The entitled articles like “Medorrhinum animalcule”, “Syphilinum, a forbidden fruit” are testimony of new ideas. Ajit has contemplated on two remedies – Hepar sulph and Sepia through their ingredients. This study renders a different perspective and it will certainly help in not sticking to the fixed image of the remedies.
‘Sarcodes: Resonating organ arsenal’ outlines philosophical viewpoints and Dr. Ajit Kulkarni gives many practical points about the use of sarcodes.
Dr Ajit Kulkarni writes over “Repertory” as it is a significant, essential and unavoidable tool in homeopathic practice. Methods of repertorial study – from clinical conditions to rubrics, from mental traits to rubrics, from rubrics to dispositions (and other psychological life elements) – are considered very deeply in the articles of this chapter. The study of rubrics like haughty, boaster, cautious, hatred, cowardice etc. as presented by Ajit under the headings such as Rubric: What is it? Expansiveness, Disease conditions, Cross references, Antonyms, Verbal exchange, Non-verbal exchange, related remedies, Materia medica of prominent remedies and Rubrics à Dispositions should be a trendsetter for the study of rubrics and the study broadens the use of the repertory.
Designing a new repertory based on one’s clinical experience, homeopathic understanding, methodologic approaches requires tremendous efforts, responsibility, deep knowledge and a huge amount of valuable time. Redundant to say, how marvellous is it to see a batch of new regional repertories covering crucial clinical issues: Trauma, Hypertension, Thyroid Diseases, Diabetes, AIDS, Intellectually disabled children etc.! Although these regional repertories are not the part of this book, the readers must ponder over them and use them in their practice. Special bonus is the repertory of body language, being a part of the ‘Body language and Homeopathy’ book.
DATA PROCESSING AND PRESCRIBING is one of the significant contributions. Dr. Ajit Kulkarni gives a clear and engaging explanation of many psychological and physical phenomena that become an integral part of the SYSTEM and thus synthesize the scattered data. Objective analysis: 20 points of data processing is a very logical attempt to standardize the data processing. I am sure its clinical application will yield better results. The three articles on Prescribing: Acute, Intercurrent and Keynote are educative and very practical. Dr Ajit Kulkarni opens up many directions of thinking patterns hitherto not adequately explored.
Under the chapter “Therapeutics”, the author offers overview of homeopathic perspective in the treatment of illnesses, such as mental retardation, emergencies, swine flu, respiratory tract infections, cancer, etc. The author has the habit of integrating many concepts together and giving salient indications of the remedies as is evident in Cardiac disorders, Dermatology, Diabetes Mellitus, Respiratory Tract Infections, Cancer, Hypertension, Psychiatry, Neurology, Auto-immune disorders etc.
Article about ‘Stages of childhood and Homeopathy’ is another source of valuable material that could be utilized by both professionals of many kinds (psychologists, teachers, neurologists, paediatricians) and “non-professional” parents who want to add some understanding to the unconditional love for their kids.
“From the bedside…” chapter includes case presentations, analysis, prescription and follow-up notes – and presents many lessons that can be valuable for both teaching purposes and self-improvement for every homeopathic doctor. These lessons are:
- Acute cases sometimes seem simple, but actually require very good clinical skills, proper interview techniques, knowledge of Materia medica, ability to observe, understand and think logically and holistically.
- Well-known polychrest remedies are sometimes difficult to think about in some chronic cases, mostly because of the fixed view of these remedies and attachment to “psychologic portraits” and not to the clinical reality and also due to the lack of understanding the actual needs of the patient. Most of the failures are due to improper first consultation in terms of data receiving, data documentation and processing.
- If we sincerely follow the Law of Similars, remain attentive to the patient and keen observers of clinical manifestations, of the disease process and miasmatic assessment, new or not well-proved, or rare remedies may be of great value in acute and chronic cases. With all these efforts and skills, new remedies can be more widely used and better grasped by homeopathic community. Dr Ajit Kulkarni tries to keep the small remedies at par with polychrest remedies so that they become more user-friendly to the prescriber.
- So-called hopeless cases are not a sentence of despair, unending sufferings and completely disabled life. Scrupulous and tedious homeopathic work, through long and difficult efforts from both doctor and patient (or probably relatives), can improve health, diminish discomfort, enhance functionality – irrespective of what allopathic critics and “commentators” moan.
Reality is that the actual powers of homeopathy against specific diseases and disablements are not clearly understood and explored. In everyday practice, homeopathic practitioners, armed with the Law of Similars, methodology and remedies, break the limits of what is considered unknown or “unscientific”. Cases presented by Dr Ajit Kulkarni depict possibilities of the benefit of homeopathy in some serious conditions.
Clinical knowledge, psychological training, cultural awareness are mandatory skills, besides homeopathic methodology, Materia medica and Repertory – for receiving proper results in acute and chronic cases. What is interesting for me is the logical analysis with which Dr Ajit Kulkarni studies and presents his cases. The cases of Conium, Coffea cruda, Sepia, Ferrum metallicum, of panic disorders, etc. are classical in the sense that they represent the beautiful blend of homeopathic philosophy and practice.
INTERACTION WITH DR. AJIT KULKARNI comprises interviews with Ajit, question-answer series and other stuff including what Russians experienced and thought when they attended the wonderland of India for homeopathic training with Dr Ajit Kulkarni.
Describing a book, we have to keep in mind the reader to whom this book could be addressed, for whom it is designed, who can get most benefits from this book, whose questions the author anticipated in the articles. The circle of such readers is extremely wide: homeopathic (and generally medical, psychology) students, postgraduate homeopathic (medical) doctors, all practitioners in homeopathic, medical, psychological sphere, philosophers and all non-professionals, whereas intellectual individuals truly interested in human nature and human medicine, will find a way to fathom the intricacies of health, disease and cure as expounded in these large volumes of the book.