Homœopathic Links 2012; 25(1): 3
DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1298220

© Sonntag Verlag in MVS Medizinverlage Stuttgart GmbH & Co. KG


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14. März 2012 (online)

What Do I know?

“The more you know, the more you realize you know nothing.” We all know this saying from Socrates. Increasingly I grow to agree with him. I'm sure I've used this quote many times throughout the years and I'm also sure I've still never realized the true depth of it.

Possibly I've misused the quote more often than used it. “Possibly” is one of those terms the ego uses to keep up its appearance. So let me correct myself here. I've certainly misused or at least misunderstood the quote on most occasions. You may recognize some of the examples I will give you – either because you know me, or because you know yourself.

Stating I know nothing can be a wonderful trick of the ego-mind. It's a great excuse for not knowing stuff I could be expected to master. I become like the waiter Manuel in John Cleese's hilarious “Fawlty Towers”. His reply to any question asked is “Qué?” (“What?”). And as an explanation for his not knowing an answer to anything he states: “I'm from Barcelona; I know noooothing.” That of course is a silly excuse, which only people from Madrid may understand. Socrates' quote is much more sophisticated and makes you win even when you lose.

A very tempting way of using the quote is to do it on a topic you are – at least within the present company, so look around carefully – an expert in. Try it out. You will receive praise and appreciation, but regretfully, never enough to silence the voice inside. So, after you've tried it out I suggest dropping it. Like suppression, whatever it gives you doesn't last.

An extremely smart way of (mis)using Socrates' quote is to create an impression of wisdom. That's my favorite. It's still a great excuse and it can still give me praise as now I appear to be an expert in not-knowing. Instead of a silly Manuel making pitiful excuses I can make the impression of being Socrates himself. Emptying a cup of hemlock would be easy at such a glorious moment, I think, but until now nobody handed me one.

This introduction resulted from a question I asked myself: “What do we actually know about the nature of a homeopathic remedy?”

In the past I could more easily formulate an answer to that, probably because in line with Socrates' insight I knew less. In the meantime I've read lots of beautifully phrased and intelligently formulated hypotheses. But as with analysing a case it seems that none of them covers the totality. Why is that? My impression is that it has to do with the reductionist way in which basic research approaches the question and formulates the answers. I read the words, am impressed by the scientific terminology, look at graphs and figures, see that the numbers seem to add up and still do not understand the nature of a homeopathic remedy.

My impression is that unless scientist and mystic meet to fully understand the nature of a homeopathic remedy our answers will only reflect aspects of it. Science will never provide a satisfying answer as long as the spiritual aspects of matter, of life and of homeopathy in particular are not included in its search.

Until that time I stick to the explanation my then three-year-old daughter gave me after Silica had healed her from an acute. She said that after she had taken the remedy she saw a ball of light entering through the window, and then an angel stood in front of her bed. The angel bent over and went inside her. Then she fell asleep and the next morning she woke up healed.

I don't know how to translate that experience into the language of today's science, but in a strange way it provides an answer to my question that satisfies me.

Harry van der Zee