INTRODUCING THE PERSONAL EVOLUTION MODEL
Author: Dr. Mahesh Gandhi, Senior consultant, ‘the other song’
The Personal Evolution Model is all about mapping the ‘inner age’ of a person. The Homeopathic physician is expected to individualize cases and this can be done based on the level of ‘individuation’ of a person. To understand this Model, first and foremost we need to have clear understanding about certain terms like ‘evolution’ and ‘development.’
We can say that we humans as a race have evolved over successive generations. It is a gradual process and it has occurred in various stages. We have and are collectively going through various distinct eras, stages or periods of changes. During each such period, there were distinct issues, we humans were facing and dealing with. Even plants and other things existing in this universe have gone through such similar processes. A common doctrine of life is that everything that takes birth goes through its cycle of activities and then dies, allowing others to take its place. All things existing in time and space go through this eternal cycle of cosmic processes of germination, growth, proliferation, death and regeneration. When we study this process of changes that occur in the heritable traits of any biological population over successive generations we called it evolution. In Hindu mythology, God is in the form of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. All three of them have specific function as a creator, preserver and destroyer.
What we see at the collective level is also true at the individual level. The change we all go through at the individual level in our lifetime is called development. We go through the same cycle of birth and death. Both evolution and development are similar processes occurring at the collective and individual levels respectively. We can compare and correlate evolutionary stages with the developmental stages one goes through in his life. The evolutionary stages broadly correspond to certain chronological ages we pass through in our lifetime.
What is interesting is that parallel to these two processes, there is another dimension in our lives. Though we humans are going through similar evolutionary and developmental stages, we all are not completely similar. We as humans share much in common with each other, but each one of us is dealing with different issues in his own personal life. These inner issues can be understood as expressions of his inner developmental or evolutionary stage. This is different in each person and this is what makes us different from each other. The inner software (the other song or the Basal-self) that we have is very different in each one of us.
In homeopathy, we need to individualize every case and this inner program that makes us different from each other, is what we need to understand to arrive at a remedy. Various contemporary homeopaths are trying to study this inner state by different methods and so far we are using an eclectic approach for the same. In the Sensation method we do kingdom analysis first. If the case is of mineral kingdom, we differentiate different minerals from developmental point of view. In plant cases we differentiate different plant families based on their sensations. Animal kingdoms are understood from the subkingdom differentiation and then we arrive at the individual animal remedy studying the characteristic symptoms of the patient. We allow ourselves the luxury of change of approach in each case. We do not have one single philosophical underpinning that can become the basis of our enquiry into this inner state.
The conceptual model that I propose is to individualize cases on the basis of the level of individuation of a person. I call this as the level of Personal Evolution. Each one of us is making a personal journey on this planet. We are internally, at different levels of individuation and based on this, we are programmed with certain specific issues that become our life script. The Personal Evolution Model uses this evolutionary and developmental understanding for mapping the level of individuation of a particular individual.
All that we sense, think, feel and perceive is a part of our state and an expression of our Personal Evolution.
Our inner age that reflects our level of Personal Evolution can be very different from our outer biological age. This inner age mostly in my opinion remains the same throughout our lifetime. The inner state can make an individual appear childish even if he is an adult. He often remains so, throughout his life. Similarly, there may be yet another individual who appears wise and mature since he was a child. This inner age, which reflects the level of our Personal Evolution, can be very broadly correlated to certain chronological ages that we pass through in our lifetime.
The beginning of the evolutionary journey lies in the material world, with the goal of attaining consciousness of Ego and Selfhood. Ego is the sense of ‘I’. In the beginning one is part of infinite universal consciousness and from there begins one’s journey. He then travels towards the formation of a separate Ego and the acquisition of distinct awareness, both being the sole purposes of one’s existence. This developmental journey can be perceived over general human history or over a man’s singular history.
The beginning of this journey is in the feminine principle. We are conceived in the mother’s womb, we mature in the womb and after birth for the first few years of our life we are under maternal care. The Ego is just beginning to get formed and is without much distinction and differentiation. At the beginning of the journey, the individuality or the sense of separateness is in its primal state and one is operating primarily from the emotional plane. The powers of the mind are vague and obscure, as they have not yet developed.
The journey then continues under the influence of the masculine principle where we develop a definite sense of self. With this distinct individuality we go out into the world, doing what we are born to do. There is cognitive development during this part of our journey. As our Ego gets differentiated, we move further away from the sense of oneness that we shared once with the others.
The evolutionary journey begins with the experience of Oneness and eventually advances to consciousness and awareness, before coming back to oneness. This experience of oneness is often seen in patients requiring Hydrogen as their constitutional remedy. Hydrogen represents the beginning of our personal journey in this material world in the mineral kingdom. Eventually an individual has to acknowledge the existence of both, separateness and of unity to the world. The direction of the evolution is back to the One, to the source, but out of free will and choice, which was absent in the beginning of the journey. In this journey one first masters the feminine principle and then the masculine before integrating both. The journey is meant to learn the range of experiences invoked by these two polarities and finally combine them into one dynamic whole.
(For a detailed understanding and the application of the model please refer to my book ‘Personal Evolution Model-The Foundation Book’)
Case of a 45-year-old female patient with chronic sleeplessness
D: Tell me what is your problem?
P: My problem is chronic sleeplessness. I have tiredness and weakness of my memory. I get frontal headaches often. I am exhausted all day with no energy at all. I am sleepy all the time. I have no apparent worries in my life. I need to put in a lot of effort to work. Another problem though trivial is of tinnitus. I have buzzing in my ears, especially on lying in bed at night or during meditation.
D: What bothers you the most?
P: I always wake up by 4 am. I cannot fall asleep. If I am very tired then I fall asleep. It often happens that I am between awake and asleep state. I have a flow of thoughts. I don’t know if it is dream or flow of thoughts. Maybe it is both. You are sleeping but you are aware that you are sleeping; which means you don’t sleep. It started first when I was in high school. Then, it occurred from time to time. It lasted for few months. It was not connected to any big or important events in my life. It occurred without any reason. The last cycle, the last six years is the longest one. I am tired in the morning. I am irritable when I don’t sleep. I am tired mentally and physically. Until 10 years back, I had a lot of energy. Mentally and physically I was active for 14 hours a day. So this lack of energy is not so unusual. But when I compare it, with my past, it is unusual for me. 10 years back, something went wrong with me. Since then I am not completely well. It was when there was war and bombing was on in our city. Since then I am not well.
D: Tell more.
P: I have lost hope that it can be cured. I tried to understand it for many years. I analyze everything. I tried to analyze why it comes and why it goes. Maybe there is some unconscious tension that I am not aware of.
D: Had the bombing any effect on you?
P: Yes, it would have affected anybody.
D: What was the effect on you?
P: Most people felt some emotions common to everybody. The feeling of helplessness and injustice, everybody had that. More or less there was fear and anger and these emotions belonged to everybody. Injustice was an emotion that affected me the most. We were exposed to violence and we were helpless in that situation. Especially what affected me was hypocrisy, and using civilians instead of soldiers and killing children. I was given Causticum and this feeling of injustice disappeared.
D: Tell me more what is the effect on you? How did you feel?
P: At that time we were changing our apartment, I was running a business, but I had stopped working full time. I was preparing for my exam in Microbiology. I became depressed for almost two years, on and off, not all the time. There was no other effect.
D: How did you experience the situation?
P: Maybe it was a feeling that I didn’t have any power. It was one stressful event after another. I had no power, no strength. I couldn’t hear anything bad anymore. I had no capacity for any bad news, any bad conversation. I just couldn’t take it anymore.
D: What do you mean?
P: Everything was too much. I even didn’t want to talk with my parents. My father would tell me how ill he is. I couldn’t take it; it was too much. His illness, his problems, I couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted to close myself, to shut myself down. I couldn’t cope. I didn’t want to hear anything negative, any more. It is not that I wanted to be closed in some isolated space. I needed people like before but I just couldn’t handle conversations and problems. I couldn’t cope up with negativity. I couldn’t sympathize or empathize with anybody anymore. There was the feeling of tiredness. I felt worn out. I spent all my life and I don’t have a potential anymore for anything. Before that I felt that I could do anything. There is no enthusiasm, no liveliness. Before that I had energy like that of three persons. Before I felt I could do anything, interested in everything. Whatever I do, I put my complete heart into it. It becomes my passion; it is something that helps me move on and on.
D: And what it the opposite of this?
P: The opposite is being worn-out; no will, weakness, heavy legs and empty mind. You want to run but you cannot; you feel lifeless.
D: What do you mean?
P: I was interested in everything, doing different things. I felt that the whole world was mine; I could do whatever I want. Even though I was restricted by circumstances of the war, I wasn’t helpless. 10 years ago, I experienced a lack of capacity for the first time, a lack of energy and a lack of strength.
D: Tell me more about how you were before getting worn-out.
P: A strong driving force always ran my life; some powerful fuel that made me go on. In the beginning we set up business, and then I discovered microbiology. Every time I was crazy about something, I would put all my energy and all my enthusiasm in it. I get almost obsessed with everything that I feel in line with. It gave me lot of joy and energy to deal with it. I was very happy; it was a sort of love. I was radiating this love to everyone around me. Last ten years, I didn’t have anything like that; there was no driving force that would bring me up and make me go on again. When I discovered microbiology I didn’t read anything else, I read it every day for seven years. I always read books and I was so blessed. Really put my heart into it, learning, experimenting, spreading it around me, and it was joy.
D: You said it was like love. What does it mean?
P: It was passion. It was a strong driving force that gives you all will power to go for what you want and what you like. When you do something passionately, you put all your heart, mind, everything; and then you enjoy it, you work on it you get results and you enjoy again. This is something that moves you on and on. If you doubt, life would stagnate, it would be stuck in one place, at one point in time, and there would be no movement in life. This driving force, this passion is what moves you through life towards the end, through some developmental process of discovering.
D: What was the effect of bombing on you?
P: It destroyed all this. I can’t remember, it was ten years ago. I remember I kept repeating that ‘I am worn out.’
D: What is it to be worn out? What is the experience?
P: No energy in body. No will, weakness. I am going on the street but with weakness, with an empty mind, I don’t know where to go, why I am going. I cannot think deep and long enough, your physical and mental possibilities are restricted. When I think about some mathematical problem, you go step by step; you go deep enough until you solve it. My feeling was I couldn’t do this. Will is not strong enough, you have willed but you don’t have power to put it in practice; body is lifeless, worn out, and drained.
D: Tell me one important event in your life that had a strong impact on you?
P: When I was twelve years old, my parents had a big fight, my father got into rage so violently, that he took a rifle. He was a hunter. He would be ready to kill us. In a way I was the cause of this fight. It wasn’t the first or the last fight. He told me then a sentence that has a huge impact on my whole life and my relationship with him. He told me, ‘You will get nothing from me!’ This sentence ruled and determined my life; because, I said now I know that I cannot rely on my father; I need to take my life in my own hands, my possibilities and my wishes and that’s it from now on. It was a changing point.
D: How did you feel?
P: That I was alone. This feeling goes on through all my life that there is nobody to help you, nobody to give you advice, support and understanding. I realized that I don’t have anything. From now on, I have to go through life and fight for myself alone. After that I went through many fearful and acute situations, but I have control over my actions; I don’t get lost. I do what has to be done at that moment.
D: What do you mean by, ‘don’t get lost’?
P: You get stuck and don’t know what to do. In such situations I have perfect control. I connected it with the second biggest event of my life. It was the same feeling. During the war a soldier stopped at one time and then he directed his gun towards me and put it on my stomach and if I didn’t have control, the soldiers could have become violent towards me. It could be danger for my life.
D: What was the effect on you when you saw the soldier?
P: Fear. I just knew that now I have to behave smartly. When everything resolved, I was trembling; this is what normally happens to me when the crises is over. This is a normal adrenalin shock. It is a normal physical reaction. When somebody is in very intense, acute stress, adrenaline is released; then after five minutes you start trembling as adrenaline starts decreasing.
There is trembling of her hands while talking.
D: Can you describe your nature?
P: I am very responsible; I am always in a hurry as if I don’t have enough time. I set very high standards for myself. I have wasted all my vitality in last 15 years and I feel much older than I am. Previously I was very curious, enthusiastic and open for everything. I decided to make my life early according to my wishes. I loved knowledge and am well informed. I am very independent since young age. My life was very dynamic. On one side I am very rational, analytic with masculine energy. I can come to solutions and this helps me in my business. On the other side I am very emotional. This clashes with the other side. I am sensitive to people’s sufferings, to injustice. I cannot stand violence even on TV.
I am not very communicative. I don’t make contacts easily. Outwardly I appear to be strict and strong. I can be sharp, strong and precise; so people don’t go more into conversation. I am very organized. I am very quick and can do 3 jobs at the same time successfully. I am a perfectionist; I do things in the best possible way.
I have proved myself enough and don’t need to do it anymore. Self- worth may be another important issue for me. I need to control to avoid suffering. If I am not strong or capable to keep everything under my management, everything will fall apart and I will have to deal with even more chaos.
D: What in your opinion can make your life meaningful?
P: The only meaning I see is in partnership. This is the real essence, center and purpose of my life; that is true since I am married. The second important thing in life are my children; it is more about my responsibility towards them. I have to be there for them as their mother. It is not so much my need.
D: Generally what are your interests and hobbies?
P: They keep changing; I like company. I love traveling to new places, which have meaning in history. I like to be in my office, cook and take care of children with enthusiasm and heart.
I read a lot- politics, novels and poetry; to know what is going on in the world- history, science. I want to know everything. I don’t like things that are superficial or artificial. I am very choosy about the books I read; it is the same with films and music. Any excitement or passion keeps me going. It is my driving force; without it you are a piece of furniture; just work, eat and sleep. I want my life to be useful, meaningful and interesting. Humans have a task to learn different things; fulfilled life is not a useless life. I need to do good things and not just duties. I am very organized, efficient, and restless; I cannot sit for a whole day. Earlier I was like on adrenaline. I did big things that I cannot repeat; giving birth to my child, facing war situation, starting and restarting business, travelling and moving to 3 different countries; all this in 2 years. Life was hectic and dynamic at that time. I lived constantly in fear of what bad will happen next; there was no rest. It took away all my strength and power.
D: What dreams do you get?
P: I remember a feeling from a dream when I was very small. Some big wave comes on me. Something really big is overwhelming me (HG). It is not pleasant. It happened a few times, when I was young. Another dream I remember is that I am reaching almost the top of a mountain; just one step left and I wake up.
D: Any other?
P: Dreams about love; it was also a feeling that I am in love; it was not sexual; it was just a feeling of wonderful love. Sometimes it was connection with someone, but without face; it was nobody real. In myself I felt only love for him and then when I wake up, this feeling of love remains in me for the whole day.
D: What does love mean to you?
P: I need something that can invigorate me; I feel so after the dreams of love. I need to feel this strong connection with someone; for me love is my petrol. I need to be deeply connected in love to feel alive; it is the driving force.
D: What do you mean by love?
P: It is an experience of lightness. Ease, connection with some higher purpose, connection with Universe, this is called online connection with God.
D: What is online connection with God?
P: It is like real life, how life has to be. It is living your life with full awareness of what you are doing. When you follow your heart and not mind, you are aware that you are part of some God’s Divine play in which you have your own role; and you enter this state with love.
D: What remedies have helped you so far?
P: Causticum, Nux vomica and Ignatia.
Remedy: Scutellaria laterifolia
Potency:30c and later 200c
Repetition:At varying intervals
Follow up: after about 1 year
D: Tell me how you have been.
P: I was suffering from very severe insomnia; I was not able to sleep without sleeping pills for almost seven years. Since the remedy I started sleeping very well. 2-3 nights in a week I slept without taking any pill. I used to wake up few times during the night but I fell asleep again. Another change is I went through a crucial change in my life recently. I was afraid how I am going to handle that situation; to my surprise I did it extremely well. I was emotionally stable.
D: You had taken so many remedies, nothing left in the materia medica.
P: This remedy helped me not only in sleep, but also for emotional stability.
Follow up: After about 2 years
P: I am passing through the best period of my life in a few years. I would like to feel like this for the rest of my life. I am emotionally very stable. I have lot of energy. My sleep is sufficient, though I was waking up early in the morning. I was not tired physically or psychologically. I am very peaceful inside me. I was able to feel joy most of the time without any specific cause. I was very calm in spite of stresses related to work. There is lots of acceptance related to what is going on in my life, whether it is related to me or not. In the beginning I wasn’t sure was it indifference or was it acceptance. I have tendency to suppress things. I wasn’t sure was it suppressing and ignoring or was it accepting without any emotional charge. I know it is acceptance. I am able to accept everything going on around me. One more thing that was interesting, I was always hectic in my work and movements, always in a hurry. This is still there, but I noticed significant change when I am in the kitchen. I started to cook with lot of joy and very slowly and being really present in the moment. That gave me lot of joy. That was one clear example, undoubtedly. I was only able to do it, because of my real inner stability and serenity. I have been focusing on my inner self much more than before. I was either listening to music very loudly or I could spend the whole evening, days after days in complete silence without any music with a lot of contentment inside.
The common name of Scutellaria laterifoliais the ‘Blue skullcap’. It could be an important remedy for use by modern homeopaths. It belongs to Lamiales Order or the Mint Family.
Lamiales belongs to Asteridae subclass (6th subclass) of Dicotyledons in the Yakir’s chart, in the stage of ‘young adulthood’. The Lamiales, in the classification proposed by Arthur Cronquist, includes the major families Lamiaceae (Labiatae), Verbenaceae, and Boraginaceae, plus a few smaller families.
Asteridae subclass is botanically the most advanced. It has to do with being exclusive and unique. The individuation here is the strongest. Individuals of this subclass fight against the outer forces, which can try to influence their individuality. Asteridae is governed by the masculine principle and the families belonging to this subclass are very active. They respond actively to any stimulation coming from the outer world. There is a feeling that the world can do some harm to them and they respond to it with aggressiveness. We see themes of pain, injury, blood, war and battles coming up here. This also represents the adult stage of development and they are interested in everything going on in the world. They are very determined and ambitious. They want to achieve power and prove themselves to the world. They want to reach a high position and take up roles of leadership and responsibility.
Themes of sexuality and intimacy are important in this subclass. The masculine element being very strong here, women in this subclass can be competitive, aggressive and tough. We also see issues relating to fertility, pathologies around pregnancy, birth and reproductive organs.
Lamiales belongs to the stage (row) representing ‘young adulthood’. Young adults have to go out into the world and display their gifts and uniqueness. They need this world as their stage. They have the power and they are ready. They want to go out with full vigor and exhaust life. They are very active with a strong need to prove themselves. They want to show their self-confidence and shine out. There is a feeling of omnipotence and a feeling that they can do everything. All potentials are open to them and this can make them narcissistic.
Young adults have to establish long-term relationships and marriage. There is high sexuality but enjoyment from sex is not always good. Over excitement can lead to problems like premature ejaculation. Lamiales can be cold like mint. Being predominantly in the masculine subclass they are mostly disconnected from their emotions.
Their main desire is to satisfy their senses and taste life. They seek sensual pleasures. Botanically most of these plants are used for aromatic oils, perfumes, and herbs with healing qualities. Aromatic oils are connected with senses. The aromatic oils evaporate easily. Similarly these individuals exhibit strong excitation and then a collapse. Initially they are very restless. They are very sensitive; they start out vivaciously but soon it is finished. There is a state of exhaustion. The menthol evaporates and then they are cold; their energy is gone and the light is extinguished. A quick, strong effect in the world and then collapse; like the ethereal oils, they are gone. Aromatic oils evaporate easily; when emotionally excited they may feel ‘lost’ or ‘not being in the world.’ We saw this in our case.
They are very ambitious and it is never enough. This can make them critical with a desire to be in control. They are perfectionist, hard working and are uptight and tense at work. They constantly check whether they have done enough, achieved enough and are appreciated enough.
It is important for them to be respected, appreciated, to show how good they are. They want to be acknowledged. Often they have a fight with the dominant figure in their life, like their father or the boss. They need their approval, yet resent them. The need of acknowledgment by the group or father is never enough. They are young adults so they need to prove themselves all the time.
Mint is also cold. They are very susceptible to cold; they chill easily and don’t warm up.
Scutellaria’s primary effect is on the nerves. There is marked nervousness and restlessness. This remedy quickly calms them. They feel soothed, easy, and rested. The remedy induces better, sounder and more refreshing sleep. It is a remedy with a few distinctive characteristics. It relieves, very deep and old knot of nervous tension, within the individual that may go back to circumstances of early childhood. In the Complete Repertory, Scutellaria is in three marks for Prostration of mind. It is a good remedy for sinusitis and frontal headaches.
Tessler noticed in his cases that they all were individuals with difficult backgrounds. These painful childhood experiences create a kind of nervous tension and an expectation of trouble (Fear, something will happen). They develop something of a survival mentality. The nervous system is weakened by the sustained tension of grief, fear and uncertainty. These people have soldiered on, through crises after crises, attempting to adapt.
Depression of nervous and vital powers can result from long sickness, influenza (to be thought of in post-influenza cases), emotional excitement, overwork, or excessive study.
They can also develop ringing in the ears without ear pathology. Excitement can produce an inability to concentrate, feelings of nausea, low vitality and weakness. Eventually it can lead to anxiety, an unexpressed resentment, and a feeling of injustice. The anxiety is about accomplishing tasks and about the future. They worry about being able to function. They become sleepless, restless and worried at night.
Generally the symptoms are not strong or compelling for prescribing purposes. Some indicators for this remedy are:
History of recurrent flus and sinus infections
Getting chilled easily and having complaints from being chilled
Better: Motion in open-air
Nightly restlessness; sudden wakefulness; frightful dreams
This remedy belongs to the King series with predominant expression of the Fire element. We saw this very clearly in our patient. She is a go-getter, takes up many projects, and takes up a lot of responsibilities in her life. These are the people who can move things, people who take action. These are the constructive aspects of the Fire element. Fire can be destructive and potentially dangerous too. She has a big fear of destructive things like war. When the destructive forces are strong, the mind thinks of how to survive. This preoccupation with survival issues can make the case look like one needing an animal remedy.
Fire personalities are leaders. They have the courage and take the initiative to do things. They are an inspiration to others. Fire gives them the desired drive and passion. They are passionate and dynamic. They are rational and self-aware individuals who are always ready for action. They deal with situations by pushing any and every obstacles out of the way. Fire eventually burns things. After functioning very effectively for a long time, they experience the other polarity like our patient. She felt burnt-out.
Dreams: troubles, of
Fear: night: agg: children, in pavornocturnus
Fear: happen: something will: Bad, evil
Prostration of mind: study, night watching, loss of sleep, from
Ambition: much, ambitious: expectation great, from himself
Memory: weakness, loss of
Dr. Mahesh Gandhi MD( Psych)
A psychiatrist by profession and a homoeopath by choice, he has a flourishing practice and teaches internationally. He is globally popular for his psychiatric cases treated successfully with Homoeopathy. He has been closely associated with Dr. Rajan Sankaran for more than 15 years. Many of Dr. Gandhi’s cases have been published in “Inside to Plants”. He is now in the process of writing a book in homoeopathy to share some of his experiences, especially in the field of psychiatry.
April 9, 2019
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