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Installment 4.3 of a series on case analysis

© Will Taylor, MD 2001 (bio)

Sections: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

anacardium plant

A Study of Anacardium according to the dimensions of a M/E symptom

Section 3
Disturbances of the "Moment of Choice"

I've so far investigated, in section 1, the environmental stimuli to which Anacardium is particularly sensitive; and in section 2, the particular responses or outward behaviors that might characterize its mental/emotional state. Between stimulus and response lies the "moment of choice", and it is the disturbances of this that prejudice sensitivity and give rise to outward behaviors.

In many situations, the actual disturbances of the "moment of choice" are not available for us to fully describe. This is particularly true in our work with animals and young children, where we may have to rely solely on the outwardly observable symptoms of the stimulus and response dimensions to characterize the mental/emotional state of our patient as best they can. Even in our work with introspective patients who are able to communicate to us their inner feelings, there is a genuine risk of intellectualizing, projecting or speculating on these matters - on the part of the patient, as well as on the part of the practitioner. Proceeding cautiously though with this in mind, we can achieve the most robust description of the mental/emotional state of the patient, it can resting upon the three legs of the equation:

stimulus -> DISTURBANCES OF THE "MOMENT OF CHOICE" -> response [/compensation]

Rubrics below were selected from the repertory extraction of Anacardium, obtained as described previously. Some of these rubrics may have been used already in the descriptions of the Stimulus and Response dimensions, but their inclusion here rests on their use in describing the inner state experienced by the patient. I have grouped these into logical groups of symptoms, below.

Central to the core disturbance, is a profound lack of self-confidence:

CONFIDENCE - want of self-confidence
CONFIDENCE - want of self-confidence - self-depreciation
(TIMIDITY, TIMIDITY - public; about appearing in)

And sense of personal isolation:

DELUSIONS - separated - world; from the - he is separated
ESTRANGED - family; from his
ESTRANGED - society, from
FORSAKEN feeling - isolation; sensation of

There is a pervasive restless anxiety, which is somewhat reminiscent of Rhus toxicodendron, another member of the botanical family Anacardiaceae:

ANXIETY - bed - driving out of bed
ANXIETY - driving from place to place
ANXIETY - business; about
ANXIETY - pursued, as if
ANXIETY - pursued, as if - walking, when
ANXIETY - future, about

There are many fears, which focus on the images of fire, loathsome disease, death, the devil, and misfortune / risk of falling:

DREAMS - ABYSS - steep
DREAMS - HIGH places
FEAR - happen, something will
DELUSIONS - fire - visions of
DREAMS - FIRE - conflagration
DELUSIONS - accidents - sees accidents
DELUSIONS - troubles - impending; troubles were - trifle would lead into great troubles; every
FEAR - everything, constant of
FEAR - approaching; of - others; of
FEAR - robbers, of
FEAR - death, of
FEAR - disease, of impending - incurable, of being
DREAMS - DISEASE - eruption
DREAMS - DISEASE - loathsome disease
DREAMS - DISEASE - smallpox
DREAMS - FACE - pustules; covered with
DREAMS - FACE - pustules; covered with - white, ugly
FEAR - devil, of being taken by the
FEAR - poisoned - being poisoned; fear of
FEAR - people; of
FEAR - paralysis, of
FEAR - insanity
FEAR - misfortune, of

There is a strong feeling of being pursued or followed, with a feeling of being threatened or persecuted:

DELUSIONS - pursued; he was - enemies, by
DELUSIONS - pursued; he was - horrid thing, by some
DELUSIONS - enemy - surrounded by enemies
DELUSIONS - walking - behind him; someone walks
DELUSIONS - people - behind him; someone is
FEAR - enemies, of
FEAR - behind him; someone is
DELUSIONS - bed - someone - in the bed; as if someone is - with him
DELUSIONS - persecuted - he is persecuted

There are many frightening images of death:

DEATH - presentiment of
DELUSIONS - dead - corpse - bier; on a
DELUSIONS - dead - he himself was
DELUSIONS - dead - mother is, his
DELUSIONS - dead - persons, sees
DELUSIONS - grave, he is in his
DREAMS - DEAD; of the

And of the devil, and evil:

DELUSIONS - devil - he is a devil
DELUSIONS - devil - present, is
DELUSIONS - images, phantoms; sees - frightful
FEAR - evil; fear of
DREAMS - SMELLING something - tinder; burning
DREAMS - SMELLING something - sulphur; burning

Anacardium is well known for its central theme of duality and division of will:

ANTAGONISM with herself
DELUSIONS - devil - speaking in one ear, prompting to murder - angel in the other ear, prompting to acts of benevolence; and an
DELUSIONS - divided - two parts; into
DELUSIONS - double - being
DELUSIONS - double - being - smaller, the outer person loosely put on; the inner person being a little - get up; the inner person is urging the outer to
DELUSIONS - head - separated from body; head is (Marie Antoinette's remedy??)
DELUSIONS - place - different places at a time; of being in
DELUSIONS - separated - body - mind are separated; body and (Rene Descarte's remedy??)
DELUSIONS - separated - body - soul; body is separated from
DELUSIONS - separated - body - spirit had separated from body
DELUSIONS - separated - thoughts are separated from him; strange
DELUSIONS - three persons, he is
WILL - contradiction of
WILL - two wills; sensation as if he had

There is a theme of anxiety of conscience:

ANXIETY - conscience; anxiety of  DELUSIONS - crime - committed a crime; he had  DELUSIONS - right - doing nothing right; he is  DELUSIONS - succeed, he does everything wrong; he cannot  DISCONTENTED - everything, with

And of the feeling of being controlled:

DELUSIONS - influence; one is under a powerful
DELUSIONS - possessed; being
DELUSIONS - superhuman; is - control; is under superhuman
DELUSIONS - voices - hearing - dead people, of
DELUSIONS - voices - hearing - follow, that he must

"Chaos" is one of the prominent inner feelings of the Near-Syphilitic ("Cancer") miasm:

DELUSIONS - motion - all parts being in motion
DELUSIONS - move - everything is moving - all directions; in
DELUSIONS - turn - she - was turning - circle; in a
DELUSIONS - turn - things - with her; things were turning
IMPULSE; morbid
DELUSIONS - child - not hers; child is
DELUSIONS - assembled things, swarms, crowds etc.
DELUSIONS - person - room; another person is in the
DELUSIONS - people - beside him; people are - stranger; a
DELUSIONS - people - beside him; people are
DELUSIONS - objects; about - far off; too
DELUSIONS - unreal - everything seems unreal
UNREAL - everything seems
DELUSIONS - strange - everything is
DELUSIONS - husband; he is not her
DREAM; as if in a
DELUSIONS - mirror - face; seeing everybody's face in the mirror except his own

Performance is a very central issue. Rajan Sankaran describes, for the Near-Syphilitic ("Cancer") miasm, a tension between "Stretching over the limit and keeps things in control; Total control of self and surroundings; Perfectionist, fastidious" v/s "Everything is out of control and I can do nothing":

FASTIDIOUS - prove himself; he has to
FEAR - failure, of - examinations; in
FEAR - failure, of
DREAMS - PROJECTS - mixed up with the projects he had made
DREAMS - BUSY, being
ANXIETY - business; about
DREAMS - BUSINESS - day, of the
DREAMS - EXCELLING - mental work; in
DELUSIONS - distances; of - objects were too distant
DELUSIONS - air - go into the air and busy himself; he must

Not classifiable directly with the above, are:

DELUSIONS - touched; he is

These are the central feelings, images, perceptions, "distortions of the will and understanding" that prejudice the sensitivity to environmental stimuli, and give rise to expressions and observable behaviors - the "dog" between the "nose" and the "tail and legs". Along with a description of the Sensitivities and the Responses of the individual, these complete a coherent picture of the mental/emotional state of the patient


I will follow this analysis with a summary table, but hesitate to represent this as a neat and tidy description of Anacardium in a nutshell (pun intended). Anacardium is - as is true of all of our materia medica - a complex remedy, deserving of appreciation in all its multivariate complexity. It is my hope that this contribution can both aid our ability to wrap our minds around the complex homeopathic Materia Medica, while avoiding an oversimplification of this enormous task.

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