The big hurdle for the homeopath is learning how to receive the case. This is where the homeopath meets the client and all of the learning about remedies, rubrics and homeopathy must be put aside to really hear the person and understand what is asking to be healed. If we do not perceive this accurately, then all of the symptoms and rubrics to help find a remedy will be diluted or possibly even wrong. Therefore our success in determining the best homeopathic remedy depends on this process being done right.
Hahnemann stressed how important it is to be unprejudiced observers. This is the basis for the process of receiving the case. How do we become unprejudiced to do this process? First we must understand what our prejudices are. The biggest prejudice I find is relating to the client through our own experiences. This is the most natural thing we could do and we do this in all relationships. But as a homeopath we have to listen and observe our client as if we have never heard a similar story ever before. If we find that our mind is relating to their story through previous experiences of our own, then we are truly lost in our own story. This is the biggest hurdle we have and is our main prejudice. No two people or their stories are EVER the same no matter how similar they may be. Yet we are the homeopath with our own story and it MUST be put aside no matter how similar their story may be to our own or another case we have seen before.
The best way to do this is to focus on the words they have chosen and listen closely to the story. The client will often interject a little statement or start a few words of a sentence then change to different sentence. This changes are often ways that the ego will try to protect itself and can sometimes be the biggest pointers to being able to read between the lines, so to speak. So listen very closely and do not lose focus. We lose focus when we are relating to their story with our own. We will miss the subtle messages they are speaking and sending. The remedy is for them as a person and how they have compensated for the challenges in their life. Don’t get caught in the story. Try to perceive who the person is behind the story.
Another way we get caught up is in having ideas for remedies as the case unfolds. We will hear many symptoms and when there is a collection of symptoms that paint a picture of a remedy we already are holding in our mind we have now a prejudice about the case and the remedy we want to give. Having this will stop our ability to remain present in the case as we are thinking about the remedy we are considering for the case. Thinking of remedies will occur naturally but our job is to pay close attention to the case as it unfolds, not thinking about remedies. We will ALWAYS want to see confirmation of our thoughts and if a remedy is in mind we will ALWAYS want to give it. It can influence our perception of the case. We must remain unprejudiced observers.
I continually remind my students to let go during receiving the case. This means that as thoughts about the person and their story or a remedy that might be useful arises, be quick to see this in ourselves and then let it go. Letting it go does not mean that it will disappear forever. If it is necessary to write a short sidenote in the margin of the case then do this, but be very quick to let our thought idea about it go. There will be time later to consider remedies AFTER we have determined what is asking to be healed and selected the very best rubrics and remedy for the case.
I equate case receiving to a focused meditation. The ability to listen so intently and yet not be lost in the story as it develops is the ultimate challenge. Cases build from the first moment of meeting the person until you have heard enough to know what is asking to be healed. Themes develop and are shown through different parts of a persons story. This requires very focused attention at the same time we are holding space to see the whole of the case. Two different, yet similar things are happening at the same time for the homeopath. This is why letting go is so very important. There will be times that I will be so focused that I realize I am missing the case. This is when I will actively disengage from the case and let go. This letting go does not mean that I am forgetting or daydreaming. It means that now I am allowing a different process to occur which holds a bigger place for their story. It is like a paint by number picture that has 3/4 of the colors in place but the last 1/4 is necessary to really see the painting. This process is what we are doing to see the themes and “energy” of the case; to take the details and see the whole.
Practice will help. See as many cases as is possible. Each time your individual process will have another opportunity to learn and get it right. Ultimately the goal is to listen to the details with such focus and at the same time let the picture of the whole of the persons individual expression be seen at the same time. It really is using both sides of our brain at the same time. This can be a difficult task for some people (because each of us has out own natural tendencies) but this process can be learned and refined by doing it many times. For myself, after over 10,000 personal homeopathic interviews in either initial cases or follow-ups, the process is relatively easy now. But there will be times in difficult cases (cases that are not easy to perceive) when I have to actively use these very principles to stay clear to perceive what is asking to be healed.
Obviously receiving a case is a far more complex process than what I have refered to here, but being aware of these common hurdles will be helpful in becoming a better homeopath. It is always good to evaluate each case where we get stuck. In doing so we bring this issue in ourselves to awareness and consciousness. In doing this repeatedly we will be summoning a lot of help for our own healing process.
When we feel we are stuck during a case it is best to ask for help. This does not mean we stop and excuse ourselves to summon a more experienced homeopath. It means that we make a silent petition to higher powers or self (that are aligned with good) and ask for help to see the case and get out of our own way. This is the most powerful thing a homeopath can do. It is amazing how effective this process of getting out of our own way can be.
The universe is ready and willing to support this process of receiving the case. When I do this, something ALWAYS happens that reveals more of what I needed to see or know to be able to perceive the case and help the person. This is the most powerful tool we have as a homeopath; to ask for help and watch to see the result. Then the only thing left to do is simply give thanks.