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HAHNEMANN’S HEAVENLY ROSE
To penetrate into the essence of all being and significance,
and to release the fragrance of that inner attainment
for the guidance and benefit of others,
by expressing in the world of forms
truth, love, purity, and beauty.
This is the sole game which
has any intrinsic and absolute worth.
~ Meher Baba
Photo courtesy of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust
by Sarah Schall
© 2012 Sarah Schall
All rights reserved
Aude Sapere! Hahnemann’s motto has an element of courage inherent
in its meaning, encouraging the homeopath to ‘Dare to be wise’. Both wisdom
and courage include the domain of the heart, described throughout spiritual
literature for several millienia as the location or abode of God. However, the
central importance of a spiritual perspective in modern homeopathic literature
is largely overlooked, in part due to modern misconceptions of both God and
the heart (Love).
Hahnemann’s references to God appeared in all the versions of his
Organon, as well as throughout every aspect of his life, and in personal
correspondence with fellow Homeopaths and colleagues, including the overall
practice of Homeopathy. Yet, modern provings are most often interpreted
from a materialistic (i.e., as if nothing exists besides that which is material)
and psychological perspective, which is considered to be compatible with
modern science and modern allopathic medicine. The psychological
perspective appears to address the aspects of mind that includes feelings,
delusions, aberrations, etc. Both the materialistic and the psychological
approaches do have valid functions, no doubt. However, the absence of a
spiritual perspective in the modern practice of Homeopathy may at times
create a distortion of the data from provings. Similar distortions
encompassing all of the areas of homeopathic practice may be discussed in a
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the validity of a spiritual
perspective for the Homeopath according to Hahnemann and many of the
early great Homeopaths, and to demonstrate how distortions are created
from the absence of a spiritual perspective in modern homeopathic practice.
This paper mainly addresses the spiritual history of Homeopathy and spiritual
references that are relevant to the interpretation of modern proving data,
using the proving data of Rosa spp., as a pointer to the necessity of including
a spiritual understanding as it applies to the overall practice of modern
‘Aude Sapere!’ is ‘Know ThySelf’
Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (German, 1755-1843), the founder of
Homeopathy, characterized disease as ‘the spiritual dynamic mistunement’ of
the human organism. Thus, Homeopathy has been inclusive of a spiritual
perspective since its inception, as will be further illustrated.
In his landmark work Organon of the Medical Art, (42) Hahnemann
introduced the homeopathic ‘Proving’ as the prime method for creating a
medicinal remedy database of signs and symptoms for clinical application of
the heretofore neglected Law of Similars. Provings are the method developed
by Hahnemann for the practical utilization of homeopathic medicines, as quite
different from clinical drug trials. One significant difference is that provings
are performed on healthy individuals called provers, and generally the
provers’ own health improves after the proving. For more information about
provings, read about Hahnemann in the annotated bibliography.
For this stated purpose, Hahnemann guides the Homeopath to perform
medicinal provings upon oneself, describing provings as an aid to ‘know
thyself’. As a Free Mason throughout his life, Hahnemann undoubtedly
recognized the theme of ‘know thyself’, for this theme had been a
cornerstone concept for the spiritual practices in Free Masonry for centuries.
“Know ThySelf’ had also been a traditional concept, during and before
the times of Hahnemann, for the mystical traditions of all the major Religions
including the ancient Hindu Valmiki’s story of Lord Ram in The Ramayana
(94), dating back some 3,500-5,000 yrs:
“You may hide at night from the Sun
But never from your own heart
Where lives Lord Narayana.”
Hahnemann gives some indications throughout the Organon for
broadening one’s perspective by including a deeper spiritual understanding.
Likewise, as will also be demonstrated later, many of our great and influential
Homeopaths throughout the history of Homeopathy have guided us to utilize
a spiritual approach for homeopathic therapeutics.
A good example of Hahnemann’s quietly understated spiritual outlook
may be found in his references to the Rose, which, as we know, is neither
poisonous nor even the least bit harmful in its primary action to the great
majority of human beings. In fact, the Rose has been associated with love
and spirituality throughout the ages.
Hahnemann uses the Rose as an example in his section on provings
(41, 42), as we shall see later (p.34), three distinct times.
Why did Hahnemann choose the Rose?
Hering (47) expressed a conviction that Hahnemann was inspired:
“One might think Hahnemann must have been inspired when one reflects and
considers the many details upon which he built his new doctrine; the
particulars being as astounding as the whole”.
What does Hering mean by ‘inspired’?
It is possible that Hering meant that Hahnemann was inwardly guided.
Although Hahnemann mentioned the Rosa spp. in his Organon in the
‘Provings’ chapter, and even though Hahnemann had the facilities to prove a
number of Rosa spp., it seems puzzling that he did not actually do so. Or if he
did, he chose not to publicize his findings.
John Morgan, a homeopathic pharmacist at Helios (UK), has made
many remedies. Morgan observed (83): “as the years go by I am more and
more convinced that remedies themselves choose when to be made and the
timing must be right to create the perfect conditions. This is especially true
for new proving remedies...”
Both Hering and Morgan’s observations render it reasonable to suggest
that Hahnemann’s choice of the Rose as an example used three times in the
section of ‘Provings’ was not simply an accident. It may be that Hahnemann
laid a foundation stone to a future timing in which the more psychologically,
spiritually and scientifically aware practice of Homeopathy might better utilize
the proving information of this potentially invaluable remedy, the Rose.
The Rose (Rosa spp.) is the quintessential flower since time
immemorial. It has long been held as a symbol of love, romance, beauty,
purity, victories and confidences.
A rose, when offered, is an appreciation of beauty, a protection of that
essence which remains hidden or secret, an offering of love, and also it has
been used traditionally to signify a pronouncement of true victory; spiritually
speaking, the highest victory for humankind is the mastery in consciousness
over one’s lower desire nature.
The Rose has been used to convey a wide range of symbolism, from
the mundane to the mystical experiences of life, including the
wounded/healing experiences. In fact, ‘Love’ has been attributed as a ‘healing
force’. Paracelsus wrote (89): “The highest and most effective medicine is
The highest form of love is Divine Love according to a spiritual
perspective, and the lowest form of love is of the lowest desire nature. (2, 8,
15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 29, 30, 37, 43, 45, 56, 63, 65, 66, 72, 74, 75, 79, 80, 94,
95, 104, 118) In mystical understanding, Love when fully matured and
victorious in the human consciousness signifies a flowering of human
potential, a union between the lover and the Beloved.
Traditionally, in spiritual parlance the ‘path of Knowledge’ and the ‘path
of Love’ eventually converge, leading to the Goal of Life, wherein Knowledge,
Power, Bliss become all-pervading. This Knowledge is achieved through the
medium of Divine Love.
Divine Love is thus considered to be ‘total significance’. This process of
the growth of consciousness is often referred to in short form as ‘Know
ThySelf’, mentioned by Hahnemann in the Organon section on ‘Provings’. (41,
42, 46) This flowering of human potential in consciousness, often presented
in mystical poetry as a longing for union in love, has also been reflected in
the experiences of provers in the modern proving data of Rosa spp.
During the past twenty years, provings conducted on Rosa spp have
spiritual themes of ‘awakening’ (Herrick), ‘transformation’ (Herrick), ‘return to
the God Force’ (Maule), a ‘spiritual quest’ (Maule), ‘idealizing love’ (prince on
a white horse – Scholten), and many more spiritual metaphors. (48, 71)
Herrick (48) observes a major significance of the essence of the Rose
from her recent proving of Rosa St. Francis (a species of thorn-less Rosa
canina): “The legend of Rosa St. Francis and the proving challenge us to
contemplate the intimate connection between the spiritual and the physical
world. The rose bridges these two worlds and becomes a compelling symbol
And yet, the implications of these spiritual themes in recent proving
data of various Rosa spp. may sometimes be misunderstood, misinterpreted,
mischaracterized, or inadequately presented. Modern provings seem to be
challenging us to deepen our collective homeopathic spiritual understanding.
Recent provings conducted on Rosa spp. will be analyzed to discern
the difference between a psychological perspective (which is more compatible
with materialistic and scientific perspectives), and a spiritual perspective,
which is all-encompassing in its relationship with the former perspectives, and
yet as different as night and day.
I thank with profound gratitude our dear Lord and Benefactor of
Homeopathy, and Meher Baba, along with His close disciples. Before I knew
what the word Homeopathy meant, I was assigned to clinic duty to study
Homeopathy by Dr. Goher Irani, MBBS, under the kind and scholarly tutelage
of Dr. Alu Khambatta, MBBS, DHom (Bom). Dr. Goher, as we affectionately
called her, encouraged the further study of Homeopathy, and I owe a great
debt of gratitude to both Dr. Goher and Dr. Alu.
Eruch Jessawala, Katie Irani, V. S. (Bhau) Kalchuri, Dr. Goher Irani,
and Jaloo Dastur, all of whom are Meher Baba’s close Mandali (disciples)
members, have given much encouragement and support to me over the years
in the practice and further study of Homeopathy. I wish to thank them
sincerely for their great love, wisdom, and guidance.
Murshida Conner, of Sufism Reoriented in the USA has likewise offered
her benevolent words of wisdom for this article. And also the thesis of Dr.
Kaplan on Esoteric Knowledge helped to shape this project.
Also I send much gratitude to the British Institute of Homeopathy for
their generous support. I wish to especially thank Dr. Vivienne Freeman, for
her knowledge, skills, and patience over many years now. Further thanks
goes to Dr. Trevor Cook, whose insights have contributed to this article as
From the homeopathic global community, I wish to thank Dr. Jan
Scholten and Vivien Maule for their generosity in sharing unpublished
research data on Rosa spp.; Dr. R. Sankaran for generously donating
materials for this project; Dr. P. Shah for sending a copy of her article on
Rosa spp. published in Links; Dr. Herrick, Vivien Maule and Dr. Scholten for
their amazing insights into Rosa spp. provings and their encouragement to
publish this paper, Dr. K. Degkwitz (Dr. Kittler, Muller), Dr. B. Ostermayr, Dr.
C. Shukla, A. Wirtz, Dr. Merizalde, J. Morgan, Dr. Morrell, Dr. Deborah Collins
for invaluable editorial assistance, and to all those in spirit whose
contributions continue to remain irreplaceable – also to Elija Horn for the
translation of Rosa spp provings from German into English.
Also, I wish to thank my family, friends, and in particular, my dear
husband and fellow Homeopath, Mike McDonald, and my darling sister Marie,
without whose support this never would have been possible. This includes all
those who have helped to edit and proofread, including Mette Ipsen and
Adam Pierce, and many others who have donated their time and expertise.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page…………………………………………………………………………….. 1 - 2
Introduction: ‘Know ThySelf’ is ‘Aude Sapere!’………………………….. 4 - 7
Acknowledgements……………………………………………………………….. 8 - 9
Table of Contents…………………………………………………………………. 10 - 11
The Central Role of Spirituality in Homeopathy
A. Homeopathy and Spirituality.………..……………………….
12 - 14
B. Modern Conflicts Between Science, Psychology,
Homeopathy and Spirituality
1. An Overview…………….…………………………………… 15 - 18
2. Homeopathic Provings and Spirituality…………….. 19 - 26
C. Spiritual Insights for Prominent Themes of Rosa spp. Provings
1. Timing…………………………………………………………… 27 - 29
2. Awakening.……………………………………………………. 30 - 33
D. Hahnemann’s References to Rosa spp. (Organon)………. 34 - 35
E. Relevant Literary References to Rosa spp..………………… 36 - 42
Part 1 - Rosa spp. Proving Themes
A. Modern Rosa spp. Provings Themes
1. Introduction……………………………………………………. 43 - 45
2. Themes of Rosa spp. Provings………………………… 46 - 48
B. Three Major aspects of the Personality:
Ego, Heart and Intellect ………………………………………… 49
1. Arrogance (Ego)…………………………………………….. 49 - 56
2. Expansion of the Heart Chakra (Heart)..…………… 57 - 62
3. Irritation (Intellect) ……………………………………….. 63 - 70
Part 2 - Effects of Spiritual life on Provers
C. The inner and outer shift into greater awareness
4. Preening - Self-Awareness....…………………………. 71 - 74
5. Synchronicity - World Awareness……………………. 75 - 82
6. Transformation - The God Quest ..…………………. 83 - 91
7. Divine Love - The Goal of Life………………………… 92 - 96
Conclusion .……………………………………………………. 97 - 101
Supplements …………………………………………………… 102 - 104
Annotated Bibliography …………………………………. 105 - 121
A. Homeopathy and Spirituality
A Brief Overview
Highlights of Hahnemann’s spiritual inclinations, as well as aspects of
mystical symbolism, are presented in this section to demonstrate the validity
of a spiritual perspective for the modern Homeopath. This may prove helpful
in deepening our understanding of proving data collected from modern
provings of Rosa spp., while also highlighting the spiritual underpinnings of
In a letter to Stapf in 1816, Hahnemann (17) described his life of
spiritual endeavor: “In these hours I have always vowed to cultivate
simplicity, honesty and truth, and to find contentment and happiness in the
eyes of the Great Father of all life, on the one hand by perfecting the
innermost growth of the soul, and on the other hand, by making those
around me happy… In this way I have created for myself, during these
heartrending hours, an inner life, such as we need for eternal survival, ...and
to enter calmly and cheerfully into the reign of the All-Loving, the reign of
truth, vision and peace.”
More recently, Homeopath Paschero (a modern prominent Argentinian
Homeopath and M.D.) wrote (90): “Precisely because humility is required, the
art of medicine is an occupation of the highest spiritual order…, any
profession, no matter how humble, offers the possibility of satisfying a quest
for the meaning of life, as long as it is practiced with integrity.”
Hahnemann (17) was clearly ahead of his time. This is evident not only
in his materialistic developments such as pharmaceutical protocols currently
being used by allopathic pharmacies worldwide, or his recognition of invisible
microbial agents in Cholera epidemics that inspired the later development of
Microbiology, but also in the integration of his spiritual understanding within
the material world.
This may be why Sri Aurobindo (widely considered a Saint and one of
India’s greatest philosophers) regarded Hahnemann as a ‘demi-mystic’ in his
following comment (19): “What I am now considering is whether
homoeopathy has any psycho-physical basis. Was the founder a demi-mystic?
I don’t understand otherwise certain peculiarities of the way (homeopathic)
Regarding Hahnemann as a ‘demi-mystic’ may be signifying a union of
two perspectives - the spiritual with the scientific material world.
Homeopath Morrell (84) wrote that Hahnemann was “a lifelong
Freemason and an active member of a Masonic lodge in every town wherever
he lived”. One of the guiding messages in the mystical traditions of Free
Masonry is “know thyself”, which is found engraved on the entrance gates of
some Masonic Lodges. (115)
What is the meaning of ‘know thyself’?
Know thyself is a mystical maxim signifying inner spiritual development
towards the Divine. This maxim has been referred to in many sources
including: the Hindu Bhagavad Gita, writings of spiritual Perfect Masters, the
Christian New Testament, written works by Islamic Sufi Saints, the Delphic
Oracle, and by religious philosophers over several millennia. (2, 16, 44, 51,
52a, 55, 56, 63, 74, 75, 94, 95)
Although the modern concept of God often leaves God out of ordinary
daily living, Hahnemann himself chose not to do so. Hahnemann, in
referencing ‘know thyself’ in the Chapter on Provings in his Organon, quietly
acknowledges a path towards increasing spiritual awareness. Similarly, he
mentions Rosa spp. and guides the Homeopath to perform provings upon
oneself. It is possible to observe throughout the Organon Hahnemann’s own
fully alive and active mastery of a highly developed spiritual understanding.
Modern Homeopath Paschero (90) echoed Hahnemann’s spiritual
leanings when he wrote: “Only by realizing the highest values is it possible to
practice a medicine such as Hahnemannian homoeopathy, which requires a
grasp of the essential symptoms of the patient as a whole, unique, and
singular human being. These values can be perceived and described only
when the physician has discovered his or her own true self.”
Modern provings of Rosa spp. are now likewise challenging
Homeopaths to broaden their perception of Love, of the Divine Force, of God,
and of spiritual awareness. (48,71) Homeopath Merizalde observed (81),
“although the reports are anecdotal, it seems that this method of treatment
(Homeopathy) is very suitable not only in the process of restoration of health
but also in the pursuit of a spiritual quest.”
In recent provings, as we will see later, the Rosa spp. effect on provers
ranged from ‘company with the Divine’, with ‘blissful peaceful states’, to an
‘inability to integrate into this world - I don’t even know what planet I am on’,
and from profound ’irritability with this fog-brained state,’ to varied romantic
imaginings. (21, 48, 71)
The modern provings of Rosa spp. may be valued as an offering in
several ways: to assist in connecting and integrating the spiritual with the
material world, to help dissolve obstacles preventing the innate knowledge of
one’s true self, to find the Divine within our ordinary daily lives, and to assist
in fulfilling one’s higher purpose in life, i.e., to know thyself.
B. Modern Conflicts between Science, Psychology,
Homeopathy, and Spirituality
1. An Overview
One possible obstacle to consider in deepening the understanding of
provings for Rosa spp. concerns modern conflicts between Science,
Psychology, Homeopathy, and Spirituality. While it is not within the scope of
this brief paper to resolve these issues, it is of interest in better
understanding the Rosa spp. to consider some positive aspects of each of
these areas of study in the next two sections. Indeed, the recent provings of
Rosa spp. encourage us to explore these issues.
In our modern world, science/materialism and spirituality/Divine Love
are often thought to be mutually exclusive. Yet, there may be much to be
gained from exploring the relationship of spirituality with the essence of Rosa
spp. and its connection with the material world.
One western allopathic physician, who is well versed in the ancient
spiritual practices of Ayurvedic medicine, (India), Deepak Chopra, M.D. (11)
observed how modern physicists are exploring the external world we live in:
“Einstein realized that time and space are the products of our 5 sense; we
experience events as happening in sequential order. Yet Einstein and his
colleagues were able to remove this mask of appearances. They reassembled
time and space into a new geometry that has no beginning and no end, no
edges, no solidarity. Every solid particle in the universe turned out to be a
ghostly bundle of energy vibrating in an immense void.”
Yet, for centuries the materialistic paradigm dominating scientific and
philosophical thought has increasingly created divisions between modern
psychology, science, spirituality, and Homeopathy. (32, 44, 54, 81, 84)
However, historically, during and before the time of Paracelsus
(1500’s), it was common practice to blend all the various disciplines of higher
“Among the ancients, philosophy, science, and religion were never
considered as separate units: each was regarded as an integral part of the
whole. Philosophy was scientific and religious; science was philosophic and
religious, and religion was philosophic and scientific. Perfect wisdom was
considered unattainable save as the result of harmonizing all three of these
expressions of mental and moral activity.” (italics added)
Perfect wisdom implies a blending of the feeling and the mental
aspects of the human mind. The heart knows what to value, and the intellect
is competent in negotiating worldly materialistic matters. This concept is
reflected in the writings of Meher Baba.
Meher Baba (1894-1969), who declared himself in public as the Avatar
of this Age in 1953, authored many books and discourses on a wide and
diverse range of spiritual topics. While his descriptions of human
consciousness and the goal of human life remain unparalleled in the world of
Literature to this day, he has stated that (56), “I have come not to Teach, but
to Awaken.” Meher Baba addressed the apparent conflict between religion
and science (74):
“The mind is the treasure-house of learning, but the heart is
the treasure-house of spiritual wisdom. The so-called conflict between religion
and science arises only when there is no appreciation of the relative
importance of these two types of knowledge. Mind cannot tell you which
things are worth having; it can only tell you how to achieve the ends
accepted from intellectual sources.”
Moreover, modern physicists are openly acknowledging the existence
of God or a Creator of the Universe. Dr. Goswami (32, 33), author of The
Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World, is a
Professor of Physics at the University of Oregon and a member of its Institute
of Theoretical Science. Goswami is part of a growing body of scientists who in
recent years have ventured into the domain of the spiritual in an attempt both
to interpret the seemingly inexplicable findings of their experiments and to
validate their intuitions about the existence of a spiritual dimension of life.
Likewise, spirituality is not inherently inimical to a scientific
perspective, as is often imagined in our present world. Meher Baba observed
“It is a mistake to look upon science as opposed to the spirit. Science
is a help or hindrance to spirituality depending upon the use to which it is put.
Just as healthy art is the outflowing of spirituality, so science, when properly
handled, can be the expression and fulfillment of the spirit. Scientific truths
about the physical body and its life in the gross world can become a medium
for the soul to ‘Know Itself’. However, if they are to serve this purpose, they
must be fitted properly into a greater spiritual understanding that includes a
steady insight into true and enduring values.”
From the homeopathic perspective, Hahnemann explicitly blended
science, art, spirituality and medicine, and he recognized God in all the
editions of his Organon. God was not a mere concept to Hahneman. (41, 42)
Bradford (7), Hahnemann’s biographer, wrote: “Hahnemann always modestly
said that his discovery was God's gift to him for the benefit of mankind."
Furthermore, according to a psychological perspective, writing about
esotericism, (known during medieval times as Alchemy) Edmond Whitmont
wrote (113), “Contrary to general popular opinion, which considers alchemists
simply charlatans or, at best, primitive pioneers of modern chemistry, C.G.
Jung has conclusively demonstrated that the alchemists were the
psychologists of their day. Their truest practitioners were seeking the
‘philosopher’s stone’, the mysterious lapis that symbolized the total man.”
Hahnemann referred to the ‘philosopher’s stone’ of physicians –
‘simplicity’ in his writings (38e). The ultimate goal of simplicity accomplishes
the most complete overlap, a total merging of these seemingly disparate
disciplines. Simplicity was described by Socrates (52a) as temperance, by
Confucious (46) as the golden mean. Pelikan (91) described the Rosaceae
species as perfect moderation in the midst of plenty.
Thus, ultimately, there is no inherent conflict between science,
homeopathy, psychology and spirituality. All these perspectives can support
the purpose of life, and assist in deepening the understanding of each
individual perspective, even whilst acknowledging their inherent limitations.
Meher Baba clarified the end result of pursuit of purely materialistic
perspectives (79): ‘The greatest scientists themselves are becoming dismayed
at the areas of knowledge still beyond them and appalled at what their
discoveries may unleash. It will not be long now before they admit complete
bafflement and affirm the existence of this eternal Reality which men call
God, and which is unapproachable through the intellect.’ (italics added)
2. Homeopathic Provings and Spirituality
In this section we explore the necessity, according to Hahnemann and
many of the greatest Homeopaths, to apply a spiritual understanding to
Homeopathic provings. That spirituality is central to the practice of
Homeopathy will be illustrated in this section.
Hahnemann referred to the usage of a spiritual perspective in the
process of conducting provings. In his chapter on Provings in The Organon,
Hahnemann observed (42):
141: “Of all the provings of the pure actions of simple medicines in
altering the human condition, and of the artificial disease states and
symptoms that they engender in the healthy person, the most excellent
provings remain those that the healthy, unprejudiced, conscientious and fine-
feeling physician employs upon himself, with all the care and caution taught
here. He knows (is aware) with the greatest certainty that which he has
perceived in himself”. (italics added)
“Footnote 2: By means of such remarkable observations, he will
develop an understanding appreciation of his own sensibilities, of his mode of
thinking and emotions, which is the basis of all true wisdom, know thyself.”
Hahnemann implied that there is some reason or purpose for the
Homeopath to ‘know thyself’, and to perform Provings upon oneself.
However, a purely materialistic outlook proposes that we cannot hope to
“illuminate our inner selves with hidden Light from concealed depths” as
Aurobindo (2) describes, as no such Light exists. Yet Hahnemann implied in
‘know thyself’ that there is a concealed consciousness which is deeper and
greater than our superficial self, and this is a concept which opens up infinite
possibilities. (2, 15, 46, 56, 63, 69, 70, 74, 75)
To know thyself has been traditional spiritual teaching of all Ages, for
such knowledge is self-realisation.
Socrates, in Plato’s Charmides, referred to ‘know thyself’ inscribed over
the temple of the Delphi Oracle of ancient Greek mythology. (52a)
Conybeare wrote (Civilisation and Chaos) (16a): “When Jesus referred
to the Kingdom of Heaven being within us, He stated: ‘And whoever knoweth
Himself shall find it.’
In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna explains (16a, 105): ‘There is true
Knowledge, Learn thou, Arjuna, this, To see One Changeless Life in all that
lives, And in all that separate seems, The One Inseparable Self.”
Lord Krishna’s words are clarified in modern times by Dr. Chopra’s (11)
observation: “Although each person seems separate and independent, all of
us are connected to patterns of intelligence that govern the whole cosmos.
Time does not exist as an absolute, but only eternity….What we call time is a
reflection of how we perceive change….If we could perceive the changeless,
time would cease to exist as we know it…”
Dr. Chopra further observes that yogis and sages throughout India,
China, Japan have been able to remain youthful by retarding the process of
entropy (deterioration), using nothing more than attention, “for at a deep
level, attention and Prana (life force, creative intelligence) are the same - life
is awareness, and awareness is life.”
From Hahnemann’s writings, it can be seen that his own world-view
was not blinkered by materialistic limitations. In “The Medicine of Experience”
(1805) Hahnemann wrote (38c): “Medicine is a science of experience… This
art, so indispensable to suffering humanity, cannot therefore remain
concealed in the unfathomable depths of obscure speculation, or be diffused
throughout the boundless void of conjecture; it must be accessible, readily
accessible to us, within the sphere of vision of our external and internal
perceptive faculties.” (italics added)
Meher Baba confirmed (78), “The spiritual and the material aspects of
life are widely separated from each other. They ought to be inseparably
united with each other. There is no fundamental opposition between spirit
and matter or between life and form. The apparent opposition is due to
Though Hahnemann, Conybeare (the teachings of Christ), Lord Krishna
(The Bhagavad Gita, Song Celestial), and Meher Baba all confirm that ‘know
thyself’ is obviously a spiritual undertaking, our modern homeopathic
literature largely ignores the necessity of this work. The absence of a spiritual
perspective used in tandem with the scientific, psychological, materialistic
perspectives is clearly lacking in true wisdom, and, as will be demonstrated, is
misleading in the presentation and assimilation of proving data.
Furthermore, the inclusion of a spiritual understanding in modern
homeopathic practice has a strong foundation in the history of Homeopathy.
Many of the great Homeopaths were spiritually minded like Hahnemann. For
example, Hering, Clarke, and Compton Burnett were keen on Paracelsus. (12,
64) Ghatak (31) referred to the teachings of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda.
Hering, Kent, and the Boericke were avid followers of Swedenborg. (107)
The list is much longer than these few examples.
Kent observed (59b, 62), “the love of Truth, for the sake of Truth, in
the voluntary, conjoins with an equivalent of Truth in the understanding; and
this is the measure of wisdom in any man”.
Kent continues: “The crafty man memorizes facts, to use for a given
occasion in order to acquire remuneration or fame, and should be known as
smart in proportion to the success of his undertaking. This is not wisdom.
Love, wisdom, and use make one, and inasmuch as they are one in the life of
man they make him a man; and wherein he lacks these, he falls short of
being a man. These in man are the wherein he exists in the image of God,
and when he has thus made Truth alive in him, he has become “free indeed”.
Kent’s implications of making “Truth alive in him, he has become “free
indeed” echo statements of spiritual mysticism, wherein true freedom is
considered as a state of consciousness known as Liberation, Mukti, or Bliss.
This ‘freedom’ of ‘Truth alive in him’ referred to by Kent acknowledges the co-
relation or union of the Divine within one’s being. It also signifies the spiritual
practice of ‘know thyself’. (46)
Hahnemann makes some remarkable statements concerning a spiritual
approach for life in The Organon (41):
“9: In the healthy condition of man, the spiritual Vital Force….retains
all the parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious, vital operation, as
regards both sensations and functions, so that our indwelling, reason-gifted
mind can freely employ this living healthy instrument for the higher purposes
of our existence.” (italics added)
What does Hahnemann mean by the ‘higher purposes of our
Is it to ‘buy, consume, die’ as the metaphor is commonly used in the
Is it purely materialistic or egoistic?
These are merely a few representative questions that are pertinent for
the understanding of proving data for Rosa spp.
One of Herrick’s (48) provers of Rosa gallica expressed this issue with
materialism poignantly as being: “fed up with the world of buying and selling.
When will we wake up and move beyond the lower aspects of materialism?!!”
This prover continues with the query “What is beyond?” (italics added)
Meher Baba (79) observed that, ‘the ordinary man, although he is
completely fed-up with being cheated of the prize that materialism promises
and appears to deny the existence of God and to have lost faith in everything
but the immediate advantage, never really loses his inborn belief in God and
faith in the Reality which is beyond the illusion of the moment. His apparent
doubt and loss of faith is because of a desperation of mind only, it does not
touch his heart. Look at Peter. He denied Christ. Desperation made his mind
deny, but in his heart he knew that Christ was what He was. The ordinary
man never loses faith. He is as one who climbs up a mountain a certain
distance and, experiencing cold and difficulty breathing, returns to the foot of
the mountain. But the scientific mind goes on up the mountain until its heart
freezes and dies. But this mind is becoming so staggered by the vastness still
beyond it, that it will be forced to admit the hopelessness of its quest and
turn to God, the Reality.” (italics added)
In modern provings of Rosa spp., provers throughout the world
struggled with these issues. These provers collided with materialism, literally
and figuratively! It seems many provers had difficulty integrating glimpses of
a greater and higher state of consciousness into their worldly affairs.
Indeed, the experience of higher states of consciousness is not very
well-supported or understood in modern awareness. This difficulty may also
be a current world dilemma facing all of humanity. As one heroic prover of
Rosa damascena observed (21), ‘my heart tried by all means to express itself,
to become softer to the outside world’.
How may homeopathic provings act to connect the spiritual with the
material world in the consciousness of the prover?
Hahnemann refers to the ‘soul of the plant’ and their corresponding
‘divine elements’ when describing the medicinal properties of plants in general
“118: Every medicine exhibits particular actions in the human body
which do not come about in exactly the same way from any other medicinal
substance of a different kind.”
“Footnote: This fact was also perceived by Albrecht von Haller who
wrote: “A great diversity of strength lies hidden in these plants themselves,
whose external features we have long known but whose souls, as it were,
and whatever divine element they have, we have not yet perceived.”
Hahnemann is thereby connecting the spiritual ‘soul’ and its
corresponding ‘divine elements’ with the material ‘medicinal substance’.
According to these aphorisms of Hahnemann each kind of plant and mineral
has a unique soul that is different in various aspects from each other. These
differences may appear imperceptible in their inner essence, though their
outer manifestations may be readily visible. Each ‘soul’ of the remedy when
proven has some unique effect on the healthy prover.
The ‘soul’ of Rosa spp. is beginning to emerge via modern provings of
Rosa spp. (104) Furthermore, our homeopathic literature in general is rich
with spiritual references and metaphors. It is fruitful to explore some of these
areas in particular, to create a deeper understanding of the spiritual dynamics
For example, Kent, like Hahnemann, connects the material with the
spiritual in the context of the external material versus the interior internal
qualities of the plant and mineral kingdoms (59a, 62):
“It is not generally known that the three kingdoms exist, as to their
interior, in the image of man. Neither is it generally understood what it is to
exist in the image of man. It is not even known what man is, nor what the
plant kingdom is, and much less what the mineral kingdom is. If all these
statements related to geology, botany and anatomy, they could be
presumptuous, as these sciences are highly cultivated, but they treat of the
kingdoms only as to their exterior or material relation. The internal qualities
have been left for the homeopathist, and such an exploration is within the
province of homeopathics.”
According to Kent, exploring the internal and external relationships is
part of the practice and ‘province’ of Homeopathy. Likewise, Hahnemann
encouraged the Homeopath to dive deep within themselves, via provings, and
yet also to be objectively balanced externally in a precise and detailed
scientific manner concerning the collection and recording of proving data and
Early in his career, in “The Medical Observer”, Hahnemann wrote about
provings (38d): “The duty of the observer is only to take notice of the
phenomena and their course; his attention should be on the watch, not only
that nothing actually present escape his observation, but that also what he
observes be understood exactly as it is… The medical observer… has
constantly before his eyes the exalted dignity of his calling, as the
representative of the all-bountiful Father and Preserver, to minister to His
beloved human creatures… He knows that observations of medical subjects
must be made in a sincere and holy spirit, as if under the eye of the all-seeing
God, the Judge of our secret thoughts, and must be recorded so as to satisfy
an upright conscience, in order that they may be communicated to the
Thus, Hahnemann encouraged a balance, a harmony, between the
inner and the outer experience of human consciousness. He emphasized the
necessity to evaluate the inner and outer experiences of the souls of the plant
and mineral kingdoms during provings for a more complete understanding of
their medicinal properties (42):
“119: As certainly as each kind of plant is different in its outer form, in
its own way of life and growth, in its taste and smell from every other plant
species and genus, as certainly as each mineral and each salt in its outer as
well as its inner physical and chemical properties (which alone should have
prevented any and all confusion) differs from every other, just as certainly are
they all different and divergent from one another in their morbific, thus also,
in their curative actions.” (italics added)
Hahnemann observed that not only each kind of plant, but also each
mineral and salt are unique in their ‘outer as well as their inner’ properties.
Hahnemann recognized the value of exploring the ‘inner properties’ in the
mineral kingdom, and the ‘souls’ of the plant kingdom.
Twentyman writes of exploring the inner properties in a proving (110),
“We can respond to a remedy in many ways. We can eat it and through taste
and its continuation in our digestions we can prove it. But I believe that the
responses of our thoughts and feelings, when we bring to bear our other
senses and the whole of our personality upon a remedy, belong also to the
Likewise, modern medical practice currently acknowledges the role of
thoughts and feelings in direct relationship to health and well-being, i.e.,
anxiety may be associated with tension headaches. For example, Dr. Deepak
Chopra observed (11): “Our cells are constantly eavesdropping on our
thoughts and being changed by them. A bout of depression can wreak havoc
with the immune system; falling in love can boost it. Despair and
hopelessness raise the risk of heart attacks and cancer, thereby shortening
life. Joy and fulfillment keep us healthy and extend life. This means that the
line between biology and psychology cannot be drawn with any certainty.”
In summary, clearly a spiritual perspective is needed when conducting
provings and interpreting proving data. The spiritual significance of ‘know
thyself’ was expressed in quotes of Lord Krishna, Conybeare on Christ, and
Meher Baba. Concerning the provings of new and old medicines, Kent
explores the internal nature of man (know thyself), Hahnemann refers to the
‘soul of the plants’ and their corresponding ‘divine elements’, and Twentyman
includes as part of the proving data the non-material (psychological /spiritual)
responses to these medicines.
Furthermore, Hahnemann stated early in his career in the Preface to
his first edition of the Organon that (40), “The physician who enters on his
work in this spirit becomes directly assimilated to the Divine Creator of the
world, whose human creatures he helps to preserve, and whose approval
renders him thrice blessed.”
This next prover illustrates and exemplifies the self-reflective spiritually
aware standpoint from which Hahnemann recommended that provings be
done (Maule’s proving of Rosa canina) (71):
“Right now I feel very creative but I am very conscious of not being at
the helm. It even feels exciting to surrender. It feels very important to ‘pray’;
not to ask for anything at all, but to go back to that simple place of being
with the God force in total simplicity.”
C. Spiritual Insights for Prominent Themes found in
Modern Provings of Rosa spp.
This section addresses two spiritually significant characteristics that are
found throughout the modern provings of Rosa spp.: Timing and Awakening.
Both ‘Timing’ and ‘Awakening’ are presented in a peripatetic style. The
purpose for this style is to broaden and widen the range of view when
interpreting recent proving data Rosa spp., in moving from logic and reason
into synthetic understanding.
The first characteristic under consideration in this section is ‘Timing’
and its spiritual significance. As mentioned earlier, Morgan’s (83) observation
as a well-known homeopathic pharmacist from Helios Pharmacy in UK, is that
homeopathic medicinal ‘remedies themselves choose when to be made and
the timing must be right to create the perfect conditions. This is especially
true for new proving remedies…’ (italics added)
Hahnemann’s comment (42), “It was high time that He allowed
Homeopathy to be found”, clearly indicates a causative relationship between
our ‘Heavenly Creator’ and the development of Homeopathy. At the same
time, it implies a ‘hide and seek’ quality between the Creator and the
individuals of His Creation, as well as a sense of timing.
In modern provings, a ‘sense of timing’ was referred to by Maule in her
proving of Rosa canina (71): “Time and how we live within it, was the central
theme of this proving… There was the feeling that the time span of our life is
precious and from this came a strong desire to choose carefully how to spend
this time. It appears in this proving that how we use that time and how much
choice we have in using that time is a source of health or ill health.”
Maule (71) further observed that the genera of Rosaceae family
(Cratageus, Laurocerasus, Spirea, Prunus) have an affinity for the heart and
circulatory system. “The heart is our timekeeper, carrying us forward on the
ocean of life, helping us to experience that which life brings, with less
resistance. Time and tide wait for no one.” (italics added)
The next reference to ‘Timing’ in a spiritual sense is from Bulleh Shah
(102), a 17th
Century Saint of the Islamic tradition who was an enlightened
spiritual Master and also a mystical poet. Bulleh implied that a sense of timing
is involved in the union between the lover and Beloved (in his heart) in his
“Banish the timekeeper, my Beloved has come home,
my precious one!
Again and again the timekeeper strikes the gong,
diminishing this night of our union.”
All four of these references to ‘Timing’ have deep spiritual significance.
Thus in summary, ‘Timing’ in a spiritual sense is referred to above by
Hahnemann in reference to our Heavenly Creator providing us with the gift of
Homeopathy; by Morgan’s reference to the remedies choosing their own
timing; by Maule in her Proving of Rosa canina with the ‘heart is our
timekeeper-time and tide wait for no one’; and lastly, by the mystical poet
Bulleh Shah in his mention of the ‘timekeeper’ with reference to the union
within his heart of the lover with the Beloved.
Historically and in modern times, the ‘timekeeper’ and ‘a sense of
timing’ may be used to express a timely movement towards a deeper spiritual
understanding. The ‘timekeeper’ of the heart, and a ‘sense of timing’ in each
case are symbolic pointers directing one’s attention to the awakening process
in Consciousness that connects the material world with the spiritual.
The awakening into one’s daily life from the ordinary sleep state of
consciousness is often used, both historically and in modern times, as a
spiritual metaphor to parallel the awakening from ordinary consciousness into
Divine consciousness. This awakening process is connected to an eternal
sense of timing that intersects our sense of ordinary timing.
Bulleh Shah’s quote of union with the Beloved within his heart implies
an awakening process connected with timing, signifying true victory and
triumph in attaining that complete transformation of consciousness, which is
widely considered by many and also alluded to by Hahnemann as ‘the goal of
all life’, aka ‘know thyself’.
‘Awakening’ is another prominent characteristic in the recent provings
of Rosa spp. It is ‘awakening’ that gives significance to ‘timing’. In spiritual
literature, Time begins with the Soul’s desire to know its eternal Self, and
ends with its awakening to the fulfillment of this desire.
Exploring historically and in modern times, we find that this Rosa spp.,
proving theme of ‘awakening’, which will be illustrated in the next chapters,
has been used throughout history to connect the spiritual with the material
A well known allusion to spiritual awakening is found in the first lines
of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Edward Fitzgerald’s version) (30):
AWAKE! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
The Sultan's Turret in a Noose of Light.
Although in modern times he is sometimes misconstrued as a hedonist,
Khayyam was a physician, an astronomer and author of treatises on
mathematics and physics. In his later years he pursued the spiritual
disciplines of the Sufis while he was writing The Rubaiyat.
Yogananda (118) gives credence to these spiritual insights of Omar
Khayyam in his following interpretation of this Khayyam poem:
The Inner Silence sings:
"Awake! Forsake the sleep of ignorance, for the dawn of wisdom has
come. Hurl the hard stone of spiritual discipline that breaks the bowl of dark
unknowing, putting to flight the pale stars of mock-lustered material
desires. "Behold, the Eastern Wisdom, the Hunter and Destroyer of delusion,
has caught the proud minaret of the kingly soul in a noose of Light, dispelling
its imprisoning mortal darkness."
‘Awakening’ from ‘the sleep of ignorance, for the dawn of wisdom’ is
also metaphorically reflected in our homeopathic Journals. Twentyman
observes (108): "The human soul responds to the processes and substances
of our world with myth, legend and poetic imagery, and these can be
understood as the revelation of the ‘higher reality’ lying latent, like a sleeping
princess, within the natural phenomena. They constitute, one might also say,
a homoeopathic Proving in a very clear and heightened form. In
contemplating these images and symbols we may be led deeper into the
hidden genius of the substance and its remedial actions than by confining our
attention strictly to the realm of material effects and the statutory rubrics of
official provings." (italics added)
Thus, in his description of a ‘sleeping princess’ with a ‘higher reality
lying latent’, Twentyman confirms the spiritual metaphor of ‘awakening’ from
the ordinary consciousness of natural phenomena into a ‘higher reality’.
Historically, Hildegaard of Bingen has some interesting observations
regarding the soul’s response to ‘awake’ and ‘sleeping’ on the subject of
‘sneezing’, a prominent keynote clinical symptom of the Rosa spp. ‘rose cold’
“Whenever the blood in the vessels is not awake and lively, but rather
just lies there as if it were sleeping, and also when the body liquids do not
move fast enough, but are lazy and slow, the soul notices this and causes the
body to tremble through sneezing and in this way wakes up the blood and
juices of the person so that they return to their correct behaviour.” (italics
Here the soul’s tendency to awaken sleeping bodily fluids via sneezing
is suggested. Von Bingen’s description of sneezing may also be considered as
‘awakening’ the sluggish heart circulation, a response that is ‘prompted by the
The soul’s response to the sluggish heart circulation may be similar in
principle to Paschero’s perception of “the vitalist teachings of Paracelsus,
Haehl, Hahnemann”. Paschero observed (90): “Because the soul directs and
regulates the body, the disturbances it suffers generate disease and
Furthermore, the historical writings of Hildegaard von Bingen and
myths and legends alluded to by Twentyman have similar themes of
awakening that correspond with modern provings of Rosa spp.
Recent provings of Rosa spp. have themes of the ‘sleeping princess’,
not ‘awake or lively’, ‘lazy and slow’, ‘awake’ or ‘awakening’, and ‘fainting’,
etc. (21, 48, 71, 87) These themes imply an underlying spiritual significance
in the experiences of these provers of Rosa spp.
Twentyman’s ‘sleeping princess’ and the connection with the spiritual
world correlates with Herrick’s observation (mentioned earlier) in the Proving
of Rosa St. Francis (48): ‘connecting the spiritual with the material world’.
Is there any relationship between the essence of the Rosa spp. with
the myths and metaphors of the ‘sleeping princess’?
It would seem that the essence or the soul of the quiescent Rosa spp.
has been sleeping in the world of homeopathic literature and proving data
until very recently.
In Grimm’s Fairy Tales (34), ‘The Sleeping Princess’, Princess Briar
Rose is put under an evil spell to sleep for 100 yrs, in a castle tower that
becomes overgrown with briar roses comprising a hedge of thorns, and is
awakened when a Prince on a white horse comes and kisses (awakens) her.
‘Awakening’, ‘sleeping’, ‘idealizing love’, ‘prince on a white horse’, etc.,
are all themes presented in the modern proving data of Rosa spp.
Maule, who recently conducted a proving of Rosa canina (dog rose),
describes the inspiration in the form of a vision that came to her, and which
caused her to make this Rosa spp. proving:
“First the headline: “The Sleeping Princess”, followed by images and
sensations of crumbling castles or towers; the need for the outer appearance
to be maintained, for the clothes to be right; then followed by an image of a
crumbling tower held up by a thorny network of briars. Finally a clear
instruction that the briar rose (dog rose) be made into a remedy at the end of
June in the environment of a newly (2yr) created rose garden planted with 35
old fashioned roses. This is the only ‘vision’ I can ever claim to have had, how
could I ignore it!” (71)
Maule’s vision reflects many of the experiences described by Rosa spp
provers all over the world. In the spiritual realm, ‘awakening’ is the higher
purpose of our human existence, often used to describe the shift from
ordinary worldly consciousness into ‘God consciousness’ or ‘know thySelf’.
D. Hahnemann’s References on Rosa spp. in
The Organon of the Medical Art
Hahnemann referred to qualities of the Rose in the ‘Provings’ section of
The Organon of the Medical Art (2nd
through the 6th
ed). Embedded in the
footnotes to clarify his points on Provings, Hahnemann makes the following
observations concerning homeopathic ‘Provings’ and the ‘Rose’ (42):
“Footnote: A few persons can faint from the smell of roses...”
Furthermore Hahnemann observes the clinical usage of Rosa spp. (42)
“Footnote: In this way, Princess Maria of Porphyrogeneta helped her brother,
Emperor Alexius, who suffered from faintings, by sprinkling him with
rosewater in the presence of his aunt Eudoxia. Also, Horstius considered rose
vinegar to be helpful in cases of faintings.”
Hahnemann also quoted historical references that Rose water or Rose
vinegar can awaken a person who has fainted.
It seems serendipitous or perhaps synchronistic that one of the more
spiritually prominent qualities of Rosa spp. mentioned by Hahnemann (i.e.,
the princess awakens her sleeping brother, who has fainted) corresponds to
the theme of awakening found in modern provings of Rosa spp.
Kent mentions that “some people will get sick from the smell of roses.
I have known a number of patients who became sick in this way. It is
common enough, and the sickness is known by the name of rose cold or rose
In Homeopathy, the tendency of the ‘Rose’ (Rosa spp.) is to cure a
‘rose cold’ in some, while in others to awaken them from fainting (according
to Hahnemann). Are these qualities of awakening the sleepy or sleeping souls
somehow connected with Rosa’s ‘conceptual essence’? (14)
Is this a Signature of the Rose? (110)
In the above situations, the concept of awakening - Hahnemann (a
historical princess who awakens her brother), Twentyman and Maule (the
mythical sleeping princess), Von Bingen (the metaphor of the soul awakening
the circulation via sneezing), and modern data from Rosa spp. provings such
as ‘sleeping princesses’, ‘awakening’, ‘idealizing love’, ‘prince on a white
horse’, ‘being in the presence of God’, etc., all collectively serve to connect
material world with the spiritual in an illogical yet valid understanding.
E. Relevant Literary References to Rosa spp.
Historically, myths and metaphors were often used to facilitate a
deeper psychological or spiritual understanding. In this section we introduce
the famous story of The Little Prince (St. Exupéry), a charmingly sweet yet
very tiny story (98), which will be used throughout the remainder of this
paper as an example to demonstrate the spiritual aspects found in the of
provings of Rosa spp.
Here are online links to The Little Prince, and Howard’s translation:
Excerpted from The Little Prince, this next quote describes the Rose as
‘rising up towards the Sun’, which may be a simile for the heart’s awakening
towards the internal Sun:
Starting with the seed, “they sleep deep in the heart of the earth’s
darkness, until some one among them is seized with the desire to
awaken….to push a charming little sprig inoffensively upward toward the
sun…” (98) (italics added)
The awakening process of consciousness is often reflected as a process
of unfoldment, as is illustrated in the following Sufi quote regarding a spiritual
understanding of the Rose. Sufism, originally part of the Zoroastrian religion,
was brought to the West from India during the early 1900’s, via the Indian
saint Hazrat Inayat Khan (63) of the Moinuddin Chisti lineage (i.e., the
strongest Sufi lineage with the greatest number of spiritually Perfect Masters).
The current American Murshida of Sufism Reoriented, M. Conner
“The structure of the rose is an emblem for the infolded tissues of
consciousness that reach and complete the ‘bud form’ at the end of the
evolutionary phase and mature within their ‘calyx’ or outer shell of
impressional matter during the reincarnational phase. When involution begins,
the ‘calyx’ breaks open, and the tissues begin to unfold, exactly like the petals
of the rose under the influence of the sun. But this movement is propelled by
the internal sun, and it unfolds in successive layers very similar to the plan of
the rose. No wonder it is loved by seekers everywhere and intuitively
recognized as the perfect flower by all mankind.’” (15a)
In her proving of Rosa gallica, Herrick corroborates Murshida Conner,
“For the Sufi’s, the Rose is the symbol of the opening heart; it embodies the
enduring capacity to love and absorb oneself in mystical union with God. The
heart, like the Rose, starts as a tightly closed bud which, when exposed to
the bright light of the Sun, Truth or Love, gradually opens wider and wider
until it bursts itself, and merges with the Beloved.” (48)
Furthermore, Meher Baba illustrated this same concept “Spiritual
progress is not a process of accumulation from without, it is an unfoldment
from within.” (76)
As we explore the spiritual essence of Homeopathy and also the
modern provings of Rosa spp., patterns and shapes begin to emerge. These
are patterns which include timing, awakening, the ‘soul of the remedies’, love-
heart-circulation, and ‘sleeping princesses’ who are ‘awakened by a prince on
a white horse’. These patterns begin to reveal that the fabric of human
existence is indeed enmeshed with the Divine.
In a larger worldly context, for those who are familiar with Harry Potter
(96) and The Lord of the Rings (106), each of these literary works also give
us a glimpse as to how many cultures and peoples, including our patients,
may be influenced by these inner spiritual longings. The Lord of the Rings has
many spiritual metaphors.
For example, Tolkien’s creation Gollum Smeagol symbolizes the ego
when associated with only the material world (65). In colloquial vernacular, it
might be seen as a sort of rhyming slang - ‘ego schmeagol’. Furthermore, his
philosophy also included a transformation of ego, i.e. an ego that was
identified with that which is immortal. This would necessitate a transcendent
state of being, reflecting a transformation of consciousness.
Meher Baba compared Frodo’s journey to the spiritual path: “It’s like in
the spiritual path. All the things that you go through are similar.” (29)
For example, Frodo and Sam, the hobbits who are ‘pure in heart’ are
given the task by the Grey Wizard (an illumined guide who underwent
transformations through fire from the grey to the white wizard) to carry the
‘Ring’ (the lure of the lower desire nature) to the ‘fires of hell’ (penances).
Traveling along with Frodo and Sam, their almost constant companion
is Gollum, i.e., the expression of the ego when it is connected to the lower
desire nature (65,88). The journey of Frodo to accept the duty and
responsibility to carry this ring ‘for the well being of all mankind’ may be a
spiritual metaphor for the aspirant on the spiritual path passing through many
trials to overcome lower desire nature and still remain true to a higher love.
The journey of the hobbits, like spiritual seekers, takes place in the
world. But just as the hobbits were not a part of the world in the sense of its
wars or worldly ways, likewise the spiritual seekers traverse the spiritual path
in the world but are not connected to the world in an ordinary materialistic
sense. Their journey is to rise above lower desire nature towards union with
the higher self, with the Divine, in their own hearts.
The vehicle of this journey is provided by loving sacrifice in the form of
“selfless service.” Meher Baba observed: “Selfless service is unaffected by
results. It is like the rays of the sun that serve the world by shining alike on
all creation: on the grass in the field, on the birds in the air, on the beasts in
the forest, on all mankind; on saint and sinner, rich and poor, strong and
weak, wholly impervious to their attitude or reaction.” (77)
In best selling modern literature, a similar theme is expressed by Hafiz
from the renderings of Ladinsky (66a):
The Sun Never Says
All this time
The sun never says to the earth,
With a love like that,
It lights the
Furthermore, there are numerous literary references to the spiritual life
being lived in a worldly sense. For example, in the Lord of the Rings, the ‘fate
or destiny of all mankind’ depended upon the hobbits’ success in undergoing
the hardships to put the ring (of lower desire nature) into the fires of hell. At
the end, the hobbits Bilbo Baggins and Frodo Baggins leave with the white
wizard and some elves on a ship that sails away from the known and ordinary
world. This may be seen as a metaphor for the journey of individual
consciousness leaving the ordinary state of consciousness and entering into
and traversing the planes of higher consciousness, a process referred to
earlier in this paper as ‘awakening’.
Similarly, the recent literary work of ‘Harry Potter’ has been translated
into many languages around the world and has been a best seller which
appeals primarily to the adolescent and young adult populations, which
undoubtedly includes some of our patients.
What are some spiritual messages of these works of fiction to our
Harry Potter had to run his head directly into a brick wall in order to
reach his school of higher learning, his school of training in ‘wizardry and
magic’. Running one’s head ‘into a brick wall’ gives us a glimpse of the
transformation required between the heart and the intellect with respect to
the spiritual and the material world.
The intellect struggles to grasp any spiritual knowledge of higher
planes of consciousness within the context of the ordinary world, and that
struggle may be experienced as ‘running one’s head into a brick wall’. When
the intellect encroaches upon the innate wisdom of the heart, it often
becomes frustrated with its lack of dominion over the affairs of the heart.
What often happens is that the intellectual perspective labels the perspective
of the heart as ‘difficult’ or ‘complicated’, and then the perspective of the
intellect departs from the perspective of the heart, full of justifications. This is
well illustrated in the story of the Little Prince. Achieving a balanced harmony
is the ideal goal of ‘Know thySelf’.
Meher Baba’s translation (75) of the following Hafiz couplet reveals the
difficulties encountered by the intellect in its dominion over the heart:
“Hafiz describes the truth about love when he says:”
‘Janab-e ishqra dargah basi bala tar-azaq'l ast;
Kasi in astan busad kay jan der astin darad.’
'The majesty of love lies far beyond the reach
of intellect; only one who has his life up his
sleeve dares kiss the threshold of love.’
Harry Potter may offer wisdom to teenagers, irrespective of whether
these depths of understanding are well or poorly understood, rather like the
Sun shining on all creation. Harry Potter deals with issues of how to live in
this modern world that appears unsafe: how to gather a few good friends and
treasure/value them, how some adults or other children are actually unsafe
and even dangerous. In short, the Harry Potter books may be seen as a
survival manual for kids to negotiate the world we currently live in.
Harry Potter may likewise be helpful in facilitating an understanding of
the more recent proving data of Rosa spp. from a spiritual perspective.
Proving data of Rosa spp. likewise presents themes of ‘running into walls’,
‘fog-brained’, of ‘being pursued by a person’ intending to do harm, ‘violence’,
Furthermore, it seems quite likely that a person feeling innocently open
and ‘looking for love’ or ‘idealizing love’ in today’s world, might logically have
some concerns of ‘being pursued’ or in ‘danger’, as some provers of Rosa spp.
Is it really ‘safe’ to be ‘openly loving’, as experienced by provers of
Rosa spp. around the world, in a world that readily devalues or dismisses the
higher quality or essence of that love?
One prover of Rosa spp. recorded, ‘more disposed to love others’ (48),
and another prover wrote, ‘during the day I am on the look out for love’ (21).
Looking for love can be a very tricky business in these times. As stated
earlier, our modern world is predominated by the perspective of the intellect
(79): the scientific mind goes on up the mountain until its heart freezes and
These issues from Rosa spp. proving data of ‘openly loving’ and
‘seeking love’ are clarified from a spiritual perspective, as Sri Aurobindo
observed (2): “For there is, concealed behind individual love… a mystery
which the mind cannot seize… which in the end makes one the Form and the
Formless, and identifies Spirit and Matter. It is that which the spirit in Love is
seeking here in the darkness of the Ignorance, and it is that which it finds
when individual human love is changed into the love of the Immanent Divine
incarnate in the material universe.” (italics added)
As has been shown, Hahnemann and Kent, and now modern
Homeopaths such as Sankaran et al, have guided Homeopaths to regard the
souls of the plant kingdom. The souls of Rosa spp. in the plant kingdom are
currently challenging us to ‘awaken’, to ‘look for love’, and ‘the timing’ is now.
And yet, Rosa spp. is not without thorns (except that of Rosa St. Francis,
which has its own spiritual significance). For many of our provers, the thorny
side of the provings brought out issues of frustration, irritability, anger,
arrogance, and fog-brained states, to name a few.
A. Modern Rosa spp. Provings Themes
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?