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Lyssa
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PostSubject: Hygeia vs. Asclepius Tue May 28, 2013 4:15 pm

Quote :
"In his book The Mirage of Health, René Dubos refers to the never-ending oscillation between two different points of view in medicine: those who believe that health results from living in harmony with nature (and thus take it upon themselves to know themselves and live in harmony with their environment) and those who believe that health is the responsibility of a medical expert who brings specialized knowledge and the surgeon's knife to conquer disease). He points out that in ancient Greece, doctors worked under the patronage of Asklepios, the god of medicine while healers served Asklepios's daughter Hygeia, goddess of health:
For the worshippers of Hygeia, health is the natural order of things, a positive attribute to which men are entitled if they govern their lives wisely. According to them, the most important function of medicine is to discover and teach the natural laws which will ensure a man a healthy mind in a healthy body. More skeptical, or wiser in the ways of the world, the followers of Asklepios believe that the chief role of the physician is to treat disease, to restore health by correcting any imperfections caused by accidents of birth or life."
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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Medicine and Shamanism Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:33 pm

Some history on Ancient Greek Medicine.


Quote :
"Diseases were considered by them to be mani festations of the displeasure of the gods or were held to be caused by the intrusion of some demon or other. The prime purpose of the physician was to appease the god or drive out the demon which had ‘possessed’ the sick person’s body. In order to do so he employed prayers, supplications, sacrifices, spells and incantations.

The ancient Babylonians lived in a world haunted by evil spirits. Whenever they fell ill, they believed that they had been seized by one of these spirits. In their suffering and impurity they sought medical aid and a return to their previous condition.

Patients were required to atone for their sins and the angry god had to be placated. The treatment involved the employment of ritual involving sacrifice and incantations. In the following text, which conforms to the general pattern, Marduk, the city god of Babylon, is here instructed to make a clay figure in the image of the sick man and perform a ritual incantation to drive out the evil plague demon which had possessed him:

Go, my son [Marduk],
Pull off a piece of clay from the deep,
Fashion an image of his bodily form [therefrom] and Place it upon the loins of the sick man by night.
At dawn make the ‘atonement’ for his body, Perform the incantation of Eridu,
Turn his face to the west,
That the evil Plague-demon which hath seized upon him May vanish away from him. (Translated in R.Campbell Thompson, 1903–4, vol. II, p. 101)

The usual practice was for the clay model then to be carried out of the house and destroyed, carrying away with it the demon which had been transferred into it by the magical formulae." [James Longrigg, Greek Rational Medicine]


Quote :
"From the Homeric poems, our earliest literary source of evidence for Greek medicine, it is patently clear that the attitudes towards sickness and disease in the Heroic Age were not substantially different from those manifest in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, where the views of the physician on the causes of diseases and the operation of remedies are linked with belief in the supernatural. As Celsus says, ‘morbos...ad iram deorum immortalium relatos esse’, diseases were attributed to the wrath of the gods—although here the gods, for the most part, act directly and not through the intermediary of demons or evil spirits. For example, in the first book of the Iliad the plague which attacks the Greek army besieging Troy is represented as supernatural in origin, sent by Apollo as punishment for Agamemnon’s arrogant treatment of his priest Chryses, who had come to the Greek camp to try to ransom his captured daughter:

The arrows rattled on the shoulders of the angry god when he moved and his coming was like the night. Then he sat down apart from the ships and let fly a shaft. Terrible was the twang of the silver bow. He attacked the mules first and the swift dogs, but then he loosed his piercing shafts upon the men themselves and shot them down and continually the pyres of the dead thickly burned. For nine days the missiles of the god ranged throughout the host.

(Homer, Iliad I. 46–52)

Eventually, the Greeks, at the suggestion of Achilles, consulted the soothsayer Calchas. He revealed to them that Apollo had sent the disease to avenge his priest and that the god would not lift the pestilence until the girl had been returned to her father, without a ransom and with a hecatomb of oxen for sacrifice. The Greeks complied, purified themselves, cast the ‘defilements’ into the sea and sacrificed to Apollo. The god was placated and the plague ceased. Here we have a fairly typical example of religious medicine. A god angered at some offence sends disease; the cause of this anger is divined through augury; the god is placated by prayer and sacrifice and the sickness abates."


Quote :
"This emancipation of (some) medicine from magic and superstition, was the outcome of precisely the same attitude of mind which the Milesian natural philosophers were the first to apply to the world about them. For it was their attempts to explain the world in terms of its visible constituents without recourse to supernatural intervention which ultimately paved the way for the transition to rational explanation in medicine, too.

Like their poetical predecessors in ancient Greece, these Ionian thinkers firmly believed that there was an orderliness inherent in the world about them; they believed in a universe regulated by causal laws. The alternation of day and night, the regularities of springtime and harvest, the regular procession of the heavenly bodies through the night sky, would all, doubtless, have contributed to bring about this conviction. Again like their predecessors, the natural philosophers attempted to explain the world by showing how it had come to be what it is.2 As the basis for their evolutionary cosmogonies they sought for a unifying hypothesis to account for this order and proceeded, to a greater or lesser extent, to deduce natural explanations of the various phenomena from it, making no attempt to invoke, as their predecessors had done, the agency of supernatural powers. They themselves called their search ‘inquiry into nature’ (histona peri physeos) or later ‘philosophy’ (philosophia).

This idea that man and the outside world are made of similar materials and behave according to similar rules, which is already implicit in Anaximenes’ thought, can be clearly discerned in Heraclitus, who believes that man’s very life is bound up with his surroundings. But it was not until the fifth century, as a direct result of an increased interest in medicine itself, that the implications of this idea were fully drawn out by later philosophers. The impulse, then, to turn from macrocosm to microcosm was considerably quickened by the influence of medicine. Philosophical thinking was thus, in its turn, coloured by a widening interest in medicine."


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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:38 pm

Quote :
"The doxographical writer Diogenes Laërtius has preserved the words:

Alcmaeon of Croton, son of Peirithous, spoke these words to Brotinus, and Leon and Bathyllus. ‘Concerning things unseen the gods possess clear understanding, but in so far as men can proceed by inference... I say as follows.’

The theory of knowledge, propounded here by Alcmaeon at the very beginning of his work, stands in marked contrast to the dogmatic certitude prevalent elsewhere amongst the pre-Socratic philosophers. Alcmaeon here displays a much more modest attitude when he contrasts the certainty attainable (only) by the gods with the inferential procedures which mortals are forced to employ. The gods know the truth directly, but human beings, he contends, can only feel their way by interpreting such evidence as is afforded in the visible world. Alcmaeon, then, has renounced the dogmatic belief of his philosophical contemporaries in a single arche and their confident, a priori deductions from it and advocates instead a humbler but more empirical approach.

Aëtius preserves for us the following brief description of his theory of health:

Alcmaeon holds that what preserves health is the equality [isonomia] of the powers—moist and dry, cold and hot, bitter and sweet and the rest—and the supremacy [monarchia] of any one of them causes disease; for the supremacy of either is destructive. The cause of disease is an excess of heat or cold; the occasion of it surfeit or deficiency of nourishment; the location of it blood, marrow or the brain. Disease may come about from external causes, from the quality of water, local environment or toil or torture. Health, on the other hand, is a harmonious blending of the qualities.

(Aëtius, V 30, 1 D.K.24B4)

Here is revealed a totally different conception of disease from that encountered previously in Greek epic. In Homer the more dramatic diseases, at any rate, are represented as being outside nature and subject to the whim of the gods. Although Hesiod took a step away from this belief and held that diseases were not invariably subject to individual divine decision, but were capable of attacking people of their own accord, he nevertheless shares with Homer the belief that they possessed a separate existence of their own. Alcmaeon, however, rejects this ontological conception of disease and holds it to be due to disturbances of the body’s natural equilibrium. He thus regards disease as a part of nature and, in consequence, subject to the same rules that operate in the world at large.

Just as Alcmaeon’s Milesian predecessor Anaximander had viewed the cosmos in terms of a balance or even a legal contract between equal opposed forces, so now in the human body health is regarded as being due to the equilibrium (isonomia) of the powers composing it, while the supremacy (monarchia) of any one of them causes disease. The terms ‘isonomia’ and ‘monarchia’, if actually employed by Alcmaeon, mark the application of politico-social concepts to the physical sphere in a manner paralleled in both Anaximander and Heraclitus.

The subsequent influence of this medical theory was great. It is not only adopted within the Hippocratic Corpus and employed, for example, by the author of De vetere medicina as the basis for his own dietetic theory, but it is also combined with the four element theory and given a physiological application when Empedocles maintains that a man’s flesh and blood are made up of particles of the four world components on the pattern of isomoiria, and, where this gives way to inequalities, deviations from perfect health and wisdom occur. Its subsequent influence can be traced through the physician Philistion of Locri and thence to Plato. Under the influence of the Empedoclean theory the constituent humours of the human body were limited to four, blood, phlegm, black bile and yellow bile

The theory of the four humours has exercised a powerful influence throughout the history of medicine and, like its philosophical counterpart, was subsequently linked with this view of disease as the result of a disequilibrium within the body. Health, so it was believed, returned when the imbalance was restored. As a consequence of this conception, dietetics, in its widest sense, was accorded a role of primary importance within Greek medicine. The doctor, to restore health and redress the imbalance, would prescribe for the patient not only a specific diet (in the modern sense), but also a comprehensive regimen of life, recommending, according to the patient’s individual requirements, baths, massages, gymnastic exercises and even changes of climate.

After Alcmaeon, such physiological questions as the nature of the semen, sex differentiation, the cause of sleep, the mode of nourishment of the embryo and even the reason for the sterility of mules, become almost standard topics of inquiry among the natural philosophers and their biological interests, in their turn, had important repercussions upon their general philosophical standpoints." [Longrigg, Greek Rational Medicine]


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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:14 pm

Quote :
"Empedocles apparently considered flesh to be a thickening and secondary formation of the blood since both are composed essentially according to the same formula (cf. B98 last line and Aëtius, V 22, 1 D.K.31A78)—although, presumably, blood would contain a somewhat larger proportion of water than flesh.

Hippocrates' own theory, which he believes to be empirically justified, is that the human body is composed of the four humours, blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile:

"The body of man has in itself blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. These constitute the nature of his body, and through these he feels pain or enjoys health. Now he is particularly healthy when these constituents are in due proportion to one another with regard to blending, power,
and quantity, and when they are perfectly mixed. Pain is experienced whenever one of these constituents is deficient or in excess or is isolated in the body and is not blended with all the others. For, whenever any one of these is isolated and stands by itself, of necessity not only does the place which it left become diseased, but also the place where it stands and floods causes pain and distress through being over-full." ([Hippocrates] De natura hominis)

But this theory itself patently reveals philosophical influences and is, in fact, an analogue of the Empedoclean theory of the four elements. Although the philosophical theory is here modified and brought into conformity with what our author believes to be the facts of medical experience, his own hypothesis is the counterpart of Empedocles’ theory in that he not only limits the basic constituents of the body to four, but also, like that philosopher, attempts to explain man as a product of his environment, conforming to the same laws operating within the cosmos at large. Furthermore, his doctrine that health ensues when these four humours stand in equal proportions to each other and that pain is the result when any one of them is in a state of deficiency or excess is a variation on a familiar theme and affords additional testimony to the immediate influence of philosophy in general and of Empedocles in particular.

It is highly ironical that a treatise which is so concerned to attack a particular form of philosophical intrusion into medicine should itself not only manifest strong philosophical influences in this way, but also, as a result of these influences, should formulate a theory which, more than any other, was to contribute to the dominance of philosophy over medicine for the next two millennia and beyond.

This influence is clearly apparent in Plato’s great cosmological dialogue, the Timaeus. Towards the end of this work, for example, Plato expounds a tripartite classification of diseases. According to the first of these classes, diseases are held to be due to the excess, deficiency, varietal unsuitability17 or displacement of the four primary bodies, earth, air, fire and water:

"The origin of diseases is, I suppose, plain to all. There are four forms from which the body is composed, earth, fire, water, air and disorders and diseases arise from the unnatural excess or deficiency of these, or from their displacement from their proper place to an alien one; and, furthermore, since there happen to be more than one variety of fire and the other elements, the reception by the body of an inappropriate variety of one of them and all similar irregularities produces disorders and diseases." (Timaeus 81eff.)

This theory is basically a blend of the view that disease is due to an excess of a bodily constituent and the Empedoclean four element theory.

Plato’s third class contains diseases primarily caused by the blockage of respiration...

The second class of diseases described by Plato at Timaeus 82b are the diseases of the tissues. It seems to have been overlooked by scholars that here, too, we have a further development upon the basis of Empedoclean biology. These diseases, we learn, come about as a result of a reversal of the normal course of nutrition. This process is based upon the assumption that blood is the ultimate nutriment of the body. Blood is itself held to be formed directly out of ‘digested’ food (80d) and contains substances suitable for the nourishment of all the tissues. Sinews are formed from the fibrin and flesh from the coagulated blood from which the fibrin has been removed. Sinews and flesh, in their turn, produce a viscous fluid, which glues flesh to bone and nourishes both the bones and the marrow. In this way, the appropriate substances in the blood are built up to form and restore the various tissues. When the tissues are formed in this order, health is generally the result.

Plato’s adoption of the four element theory, as Solmsen has correctly remarked, was a decisive event in the history of science." [Longrigg, Greek Rational Medicine]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:17 pm

Quote :
"The heart, which is regarded as the centre of the blood vessels and the ‘well-spring’ of the blood, is at the same time held to be the seat of the spirited element of the soul (to thymoeides), which corresponds to the guardian class within the Republic. This class serves as its garrison or standing army and is subordinate to the philosopher-rulers. It embodies the virtue of manly courage. When the rational part of the soul, situated in the head, the citadel and headquarters of sense perception, realises that a wrongful act is taking place in some region of the body, it sends down a message to the spirited element in the guardhouse. The blood in the heart then begins to boil with rage and surges through the blood vessels to quell the disturbance. To cool and calm the heart whenever it is unduly heated by the action of the thymos or spirited element in this way, and to act as a buffer when it is agitated, the lungs were created ‘soft and bloodless and perforated within by cavities like a sponge’ and located next to the heart. Below the diaphragm the gods set the stomach which is likened to a manger. To it they tethered the appetitive soul ‘like an untamed beast’, placing it as far away as possible from the seat of counsel. The liver and spleen were also located by them in the lower part of the trunk. They are assigned no specific physiological functions. The liver’s role is to keep the appetites under the influence of reason (71a-e). Although the appetitive soul is totally incapable of reason, it can be influenced by visions and dreams. These, we are told, are reflected in the liver ‘as in a mirror’ and are themselves dependent upon the state of that organ. The spleen is given the role of keeping the liver bright (72c) which it does by absorbing the impurities that form within it from time to time.

The same ideological and psychological principles also underlie the formation of the rest of the body. The ‘authors of the human race’, aware of its likely intemperance in food and drink, made provision against this danger in order that it should not quickly be destroyed by disease and perish without fulfilling its end. They created the so-called lower belly to serve as a receptacle for superfluous food and drink, and made the bowels ‘convoluted so that the food should be prevented from passing quickly through and compelling the body to require more, thus producing insatiable gluttony and making the whole race hostile to philosophy and culture and rebellious against the most divine part of our nature’. Here again, psychological motivation is preeminent over physiological function." [Longrigg, Greek Rational Medicine]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:25 pm

Quote :
"Medical astrology penetrated even into the Galenic Corpus, albeit in the form of a short pseudonymous treatise on Prognostics from Taking to One’s Bed, possibly of Egyptian origin. It shows how to use the astral conjunctions at the time that the patient takes to his or her bed, not only to predict whether a disease will be cured or not, but also to diagnose the cause of the condition: ‘If someone takes to his bed when the Moon is in Cancer when Saturn is either conjoined, in opposition or in the square, the disease will be caused by bathing or by getting cold . . . warm remedies will prove useful.’ Its author appeals to the Stoic justification for astrology as part of a divinely ordered universe, as well as to earlier doctors, not least Diocles, who made their prognoses by taking account of the passage of the moon. He even includes an otherwise unattested quotation from Hippocrates to the effect that doctors who do not practise physiognomy are condemned to ignorance and bewilderment. That this praise of physiognomy is absent from the Hippocratic Corpus as we have it is not unexpected. But the author then makes an even more extravagant claim, asserting that physiognomy, the art of interpreting character from the lineaments of the face, is the most important division of astrology, and thus that, a fortiori, this warm endorsement of physiognomy must apply also to astrology. Galen, although accepting the value of the physiognomical observations in Epidemics 2,5–6, and acknowledging the link between physical appearance and underlying constitution, knows nothing of this exaltation of medical astrology by his hero, and would doubtless have sought to explain it away if he had. It is ironic, then, that at least one of the mediaeval Latin Prognostics of Galen is influenced by this type of predictive astrology.

The methodological parallels between predictions based on bodily humours and those based on the stars were indeed close. Both doctor and astrologer appealed to the facts of experience, and both relied on an expert’s complicated interpretation of data that were visible to all – the movement of the planets and bodily fluids. The Hippocratic doctrine of critical days closely resembles the astrologer’s belief in climacterics, specific times, even hours and days, that were of crucial significance in determining the outcome of illness, and it is no coincidence that Galen’s longest discussion of the medical value of astrology comes in his exposition of the principles behind the notion of critical days.

Galen’s claims that medical astrology was far too crude to allow for the inevitable variations in events or in individuals could easily be countered by the astrologer’s insistence that a truly accurate prediction could be achieved only by the highly skilled expert with an exact knowledge of the individual. Indeed, it was precisely the acceptance by Galen of the factual basis behind some of the theories of the astrologers that allowed medical astrology to become the stock in trade of the educated Galenist physician in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. By disputing the interpretation of the astrologer’s observations of heavenly phenomena, not their accuracy, Galen offered, albeit unwittingly, a way to reconcile astrology and medicine.

He had far stronger objections to number mysticism and magical pharmacy, which lacked any scientific basis at all in his estimation. That anyone should call one number Athena and another Apollo and attribute medical value to them he considered bizarre. There was no reason in his view why in treating hebdomadal fevers one should introduce the seven Pleiads, the seven stars of the Great and Little Bear, and even seven-gated Thebes: one might as well, he thought, toss in the seven mouths of the Nile, which were at least real, whereas all astronomers and philosophers had long proved that no constellation had only seven stars.

Galen’s attitude to magical pharmacy was similarly robust. He distinguished between appropriate and inappropriate remedies on three broad criteria. He rejected, on the whole, all those that involved excreta, ‘Dreckapotheke’, although he was well aware that so learned a pharmacologist as Asclepiades the Pharmacist (fl. AD 90) had written a great deal on the therapeutic virtues of dung.
Galen dismissed the drug book of Pamphilus as a mixture of old wives’ tales and Egyptian wizardry, comparing its author to a herald reading out a list of runaway slaves, unable to identify the items listed even if they were in front of him. Galen’s final criterion was that the workings of a drug should be explicable in terms of medicine and physics. This is why he rejected incantations, charms and talismanic amulets, which he thought added nothing to the properties of the drugs themselves." [Nutton, Ancient Medicine]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:28 pm

Quote :
"Christianity also adopted and extended the Jewish concept of charity and care for one’s fellow Jews in ways that overlapped with physical healing. The Jewish scriptures and the Rabbinical commentaries frequently emphasised the charitable duty of all Jews to their fellow believers. This was a communal obligation, very different from the euergetism of the Greeks and Romans, which stressed the individual nature of any public benefaction and confined actual obligations to those affecting one’s family and clients. Jewish charity often took the form of a communal chest, from which money might be given to support the poor and needy, or of a hostel where fellow Jews might be housed, fed and looked after as they made their way on pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Later traditions attributed the first such hostel to Abraham, an inventive interpretation of the tamarisk tree that he had planted at Beersheba. By the first century of the Christian era, if not a century earlier, some of these hostels were more than a room in a private house, and were intended to last. That erected by Theodotus, son of Vettenus, in Jerusalem around AD 30 was a substantial building with a wide range of facilities for pilgrims, as well as for religious study.

It is thus not surprising that in 362 the Emperor Julian, seeking to restore pagan religion, should write to the high priest of the province of Galatia to encourage him to imitate Jews and Christians in their charitable activities. Whereas they had gained adherents by their moral uprightness, their philan- thropy to strangers and their concern to give an appropriate burial to even the poorest, pagans rarely gave relief even to fellow pagans. This disgraceful state of affairs, when no Jew went in need, and when the Christians cared not only for their own, but also for pagans, was a reproach to traditional religion. The high priest was ordered to set up several hostels in every town, for the benefit of those in need, pagan and non-pagan alike, and he was offered money for food and wine for distribution among the poor and the stranger. In the words of a later Christian historian, ‘he thought he could trick the people by endeavouring to imitate the good works of the Christians, ordering xenones and ptocheia to be organised’.

For pagans and Christians alike the ability to heal validated their religious message and the special nature of the healer’s relationship with the divine. The author of the life of St Theodore of Sykeon, in sixth-century Galatia, includes the saint’s healing miracles as merely one of the ways in which the divine power granted to him was manifested in action.94 But there are also important differences between the representations of the pagan and the Christian healer. Damascius’ stories of his wonder-working doctors and philosophers emphasise his heroes’ wisdom and learning (mathemata), the product of a long and difficult education. By contrast, Christian lives of the saints, modelled on the miracles in the Gospels, often stressed the ordinariness of the saint and the immense power of simple faith in Christ.

By the end of the fourth century, accounts of healing miracles, particularly those effected with the aid of relics of the saints, become plentiful.95 Bishop Victricius (c.330–c.407), welcoming the arrival of a holy relic to Rouen, produced a long list of cures wrought by the saints to explain to his flock the reasons for his delight at his new acquisition.96 St Augustine (354–430) was somewhat more reserved. Although he gladly acknowledged the validity of miracles from Italy and N. Africa, to him these cures by holy oil, relics or baptism were marks of special providence, and hence rare, a qualification lost on his flock, who brought children to baptism to regain physical health, applied the eucharistic host to a child’s closed eyelids, and wore the four Gospels as amulets to ward off disease.

In Christian hagiography, occasional comments on the expensive failures of secular doctors over a long period serve to highlight the power of Christianity as invested in the saint rather than to attack secular medicine. Few authors were as bitter as the writer of the Miracles of St. Artemius, who provides a very detailed account of the failings of the medical practitioners and institutions of Constantinople in the early years of the seventh century.98 For the most part, when hagiographers mention medical details, such as the successful insertion by a surgeon of a drainage tube to relieve a painful condition, it is simply to add colour and authenticity to their narrative.

The medicine of Galen and the medicine of Christianity were, for the most part, regarded as complementary: medical skills and herbs came from God, and were to be valued as such, but a total reliance on human intervention unaided by prayer and faith in God was foolish and unspiritual. Conversely, although some clerics, like Nicetas, bishop of Remesiana, and Caesarius of Arles, warned their flocks against trusting in secular medicine, and particularly in chants and charms, and advised them to follow only the Christian medicine advocated in the Epistle of St James, they were in a minority. Most religious writers, while allowing the possibility of cures by faith and prayer alone, took the view that such austerity, like asceticism, was something suitable only for super-Christians, monks and the like – and perhaps not even for them.
Diadochus of Photike, who wrote his On Spiritual Knowledge in N. Greece around 480, had his doubts. Even ascetics, when surrounded by other people in towns or in monastic communities, cannot always maintain the perfect charity towards others that is necessary for faith healing to work. Indeed, to boast in public that one has not needed a doctor for years is a sign that one has succumbed to the devil’s temptation to pride. But out in the desert it is a different story. The solitary hermit can draw near to the Lord, who heals all kinds of sickness, and can thereby gain that true dispassion that waits joyfully for death as the gateway to a truer life.

Others preferred to preach Christ as the healer of the soul rather than the body. This metaphor is found everywhere in sermons and treatises, in pastoral letters and religious poetry. Mostly it is a passing allusion, but sometimes the image is worked out at length. Christ is the archiater, the chief physician, purging, applying remedies or extirpating sin with the equivalent of cautery and the knife. The agonies of temptation, like those of disease, can be removed only if one comes to the ‘surgery’ of Christ, whose healing is both assured and free.

But the Church’s overriding concern for the eternal salvation of the soul rather than for the maintenance of the transitory body did not imply a disregard for the obligations to others laid down in the New Testament. With the legalisation of Christianity in the fourth century, the Christian duty of care for the sick and needy became ever more visible, expressed in bricks and mortar in a new architectural form – the ‘hospital’." [
Nutton, Ancient Medicine]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:34 pm

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Dale Pendell wrote:
That plants have virtues, or "vertues," was known by the ancient herbalists. The virtue of a plant was its truth, its strength. Maybe the best synonym is integrity. Or power. Or poison.

And we see how plants are used. If a patient is suffering from heat in the spine, the herbalist will find an herb with a poison that effects exactly those same symptoms and give the patient a small amount of that herb.

Similia similibus curantur.

Fighting fire with fire. Thus we have homeopathy.

Or a curandero applies a particular plant to a skin rash, not because the plant causes a similar rash, but because the juice of the plant alleviates the condition. Maybe the rash is caused by a fungus and the plant contains an herbicide. This is allopathy.

And there is another kind of medicine distinct from either of the above. This is the kind of medicine taken by the doctor, not by the patient. Let s ignore the advice of a great poet and make up a word for this kind of healing, iatropathy. Here we are in the realm of the ally.

The ally is the one who helps you. That is what an ally should do. Allies assist each other in the prosecution of some task.

Allies may also have agendas of their own, however. That is, an ally is not like a fairy-godmother, but is a powerful force in its own right.

An ally is like a half-broken horse, a horse with spirit. A horse that will carry you many days, only to suddenly knock you off on a low branch. Some allies are the subtle type. Maybe you have an ayahuasca ally. She is friendly. She gives you things. She doesn't seem at all malevolent. Or maybe you have an opium ally. She is more than friendly. She'll call you up and invite you over. And she is voluptuous, so you go. She is so good to you it seems like heaven. You get what I mean.

The Goddess brought them inside, bade them sit down, and mixed for them a potion of ground barley, cheese, pale honey, and Pramneian wine, but added to the mixture the medicines of gloom, that make one utterly forget his true home.
— Homer, Odyssey

But if the ally did not have power, why would you be interested?

Allies live in the wilderness. That is a good place to find them. Don't get hung up looking for jaguars: mountains can be allies, rain is an ally, minerals are allies. Some are more active and some are more passive. Some you can trust, with some you need to parley; some are so powerful it doesn't matter whether you trust them or not. Go alone.

We grew up with plant poisons. That plant poisons resemble the chemicals of our own nervous system is not a coincidence. We selected each other - fought great battles on microbial slimes - traded partners and parasites in a primordial orgy.

We become trackers, threading through a labyrinth of rocks, plasma, toxic saps. Nucleic acids,
like a sexual differentiation: iron versus magnesium, chitin versus cellulose, tracking backwards.
High up in the cliffs find a niche,
wait, fast, find
traces of ochre fading on the sandstone. Paintings on rocks, yerba santa thick in the air.
It had many legs. It had two heads.

Once you have an ally, you have to be able to talk to it. Usually an ally understands what you what to know, but it is best to be specific. Sometimes an ally will tell you something that you need to know more than what you asked about. Sometimes it is not pleasant.

Name the voices. Don't be judgmental. Be ready to make deals. Try to get something for yourself.

The ally says that it would be wise to come see her from time to time. Like once a week to once a month. And especially when decisions are involved.

But then an ally WOULD say that, wouldn't she? How can you trust her?

Some doctors find their ally ever close at hand. As natural and as intimate as their own breathing." [Pharmako Poeia]


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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:44 pm

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:07 pm

(s: Heathen)
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Quote :
" “(I dreamed) that I should proceed in the following way: first, mounting the chariot, I should go to the river which flows through the city and then, when I reached the spot where it leaves the city, I should perform the ἱερἀ ἐπιβόθρια [i.e., sacrifices in the ritual pits]; for thus he [s.c. Asclepius] named these rites.

Having dug the pits, then, I should perform the sacred rites over them to whomever of the gods it is most fitting. Next, turning back and taking up small coins, I should cross the river and throw them away. And I believe he gave me some other instructions in addition to these.

Afterwards, I should go to the holy shrine and offer perfect sacrificial animals to Asclepius and set up holy craters and distribute holy portions to all the fellow-pilgrims. And (he indicated) that it was also imperative to cut off part of the body itself in behalf of the safety of the whole. This, however, would be too great a demand, and from it he would exempt me.

Instead, I should take off the ring which I was wearing and offer it to Telesphorus. For this would do the same as if I offered the finger itself. Furthermore, I should inscribe on the band of the ring “Son of Cronus.” After this there would be salvation.” [Aristides, Oratio XLVIII, 27. (Taken from Asclepius: Collection and Interpretation of the Testimonies, by Emma Edelstein and Ludwig Edelstein. Johns Hopskins University Press, 1998; p. 287)]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:52 am

If this doesn't accord here, then I can possibly start a thread on complementary medicine, which would broach predominantly upon metals as dynamic pharmacological agents and homeopathic therapeutics.
For now, concerning homeopathics, this particular preparation, Thuja, I found functionally captivating as others here probably also would given its Greek motif:

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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:03 pm

The Anthroposophic Approach to Medicine, Vol. II:
Seven Metals:
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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:05 am

Thanks for the link.

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:18 am

When it comes to Anthroposophically oriented anything it is imperative to look past while keeping the conjecture and structure of the content intact.
There's a lot of exclusive terminology which is oft used as recitation fanatically and axiomatically and Christian and humanist undertones, especially in the modern adherents who really reach with prejudice to squeeze and contort their beliefs into it, but which is easier to disregard in the more scientific approaches of the older questioners and examiners.
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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:51 am

Cuprum:

Quote :

The ancients took it that Aphrodite-Venus was in some sense the inner quality and being of the metal copper. The old story told of the birth of Aphrodite from the sea-foam. Ouranos or heaven lay every night on Gaia or mother earth. All her children he concealed in folds of her body when they were born. At last she managed to contrive with the youngest, Chronos or Saturn, that when Ouranos came at night Chronos would come out of hiding and with a sickle cut off his father's genitals. This he did and threw the members into the sea. From the foaming gradually appeared the form of a most beautiful girl.
According to some stories she frolicked for ages in the sea with a beautiful boy companion but eventually sailing upon a cockle shell came to land first on the island of Cytherea and then to Cyprus at the bay of Paphos. There she was quickly decked out with clothes and jewels by the Hours and led to the assembled Gods of Olympus who promptly fell in love with the ravishing beauty. She is thus a goddess of very ancient origin who assumed her customary image of an overwhelmingly lovely and irresistible girl on her adoption into the family of the Olympians. On her stepping ashore at Cyprus nature blossomed into springtime, and this gives us a first key to her nature; she manifests in all the blossoming of nature. Further, in other stories such as her seduction of Anchises, the father of Aeneas, we hear how at her coming all the wild animals paired off two by two and lay themselves down in shady places. Her portion of honour amongst men and gods is "girlish babble and deceit and sweet rapture, embraces and caresses."

Art has expressed these stories in incomparable images; Botticelli's Birth of Venus, and the relief in the Terme Museum in Rome showing the goddess rising from the sea are just two of the most lovely. She is the spirit of enchantment of blooming nature. "Thou, goddess, thou dost turn to flight the winds and clouds of heaven, thou at thy coming; for thee earth, the quaint artificer, put forth her sweet-scented flowers; for thee the levels of ocean smile, and the sky, its anger past, gleams with spreading light." She was patroness of safe voyages and sailors on return to port have always been wont to celebrate her festivals. The Homeric hymn begins: "Muse, tell me the deeds of golden Aphrodite, the Cyprian, who stirs up sweet passion in the gods and subdues the tribes of mortal men and birds that fly in the air and all the many creatures that the dry land rears, and all that the sea: all these love the deeds of rich crowned Cytherea." Alone amongest the immortals three goddesses could withstand her power - Artemis, the young preadolescent maiden, Athena, goddess of wisdom and Hestia, the maiden-aunt of Olympus.

The miracles of grace and charm, sheer beauty, are the manifestations of Aphrodite; they inspire, excite, enchant, filling with desire. It is the charm which attracts and then yields rather than the wild pursuit itself in which it is Eros who comes to expression. Mostly her impacts on men are kindly and bring good luck but on women she can bring disaster as the stories of Medea and Phaedra told. It is dangerous to reject her influences for then she can indeed exact terrible punishments for being scorned. Her true worship, openness and gratitude for beauty, brings blessing, the scorn of beauty as in our modern civilization, brings the curse of violence and crime as punishment.

How do these imaginative responses of the psyche to the Aphrodite-Venus archetype relate to the metal copper and to the corresponding organ in the human organization, the kidney? For to the ancients these were all expressions of one and the same reality and it is our heuristic endeavour to enquire what value is to be found today in such a viewpoint.

It is commonly held that copper acquired its name from the island of Cyprus. Copper mines were worked there from at least 2600 BC and it was a main source of the metal throughout the Bronze Age for Egypt and the eastern Mediteranean. But from what did the island of Cyprus derive its name? Some have connected it with the Greek name for the henna plant which grew extensively there. At Paphos in the southwest of the island was one of the main sanctuaries and cult centers of the goddess. There she had come ashore.

Copper itself is a warm reddish golden metal. In nature it becomes combined with all acids, and assumes wonderful greens and blues as well as yellows and reds. In fact no metal appears in such wonderfully coloured ores as does copper. Copper pyrite shines golden yellow, then azurite is blue, olivenite and malachite green and borinite delights the eye with all colors of the rainbow. The metal is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, second only to silver, and when melted it greedily sucks in gases such as hydrogen, carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide only to expel them again in spattering little explosions as it hardens, a phenomenon reminding us of the behavior of silver with oxygen. The wonderful colors with which copper salts and ores shine forth proclaim that here heavenly beauty is brought to earthly form, truly a deed of Aphrodite.

Chemically we find copper salts crystallizing with much water. Indeed, without this water of crystallization the color vanishes and the crystals disintegrate into powder which, however, quickly reabsorbs water and regains its color. To the realm of water, the realm of life, copper brings color. It is a painter. Soul qualities are brought to expression in the otherwise merely living, vegetative realms. It is a lively, chemically active element. It forms multitudes of different salts and complex organic compounds. It, so to speak, ensouls the fluid and living realms with lively movement and transforms the vegetative and merely growing nature into blossoming and color. Desire, love and yearning are added to growth and form, inward experience is added to outward growth. Copper is happy to enfold, to form vessels or to cover domed roofs, it is easily hammered into such forms imitating the invaginating forms which characterize the animal development.

Alloyed with tin it gives rise to bronze. Now in Homer we find another story of the birth of Aphrodite from the marriage of Zeus and Dione. However, it appears that this is a cover-up for the actual marriage of Zeus and Aphrodite herself. Can we see here in picture form the origin of the Bronze Age, which was that age of which Homer sang? And Homer was the creator of the Olympian gods almost wholly purged of those earlier stories of strange births such as the more primitive stories of the birth of Aphrodite.

Traces of copper are essential for healthy growth of the higher plants; it is an essential trace element. But unicellular plants, low types of mushroom, algae are killed by minute traces of copper. These are all plants which cannot attain to flowering.

In animals we find first of all that copper forms the basis of the blood pigment haemocyanin which in certain invertebrates enables the oxygen breathing process to be mediated. Many molluscs and anthropods depend on this copper compound, whereas the vertebrates make use of the iron containing haemoglobin. Gastropods and cephalopods in particular depend on the haemocyanin, though a few gastropods living in very poorly aerated media have developed haemoglobin. The sedentary Lamellibranchs mostly do without breathing pigments. Very small amounts of copper are necessary for haemoglobin synthesis but additional supply of the metal is not required in practice. In a similar way small amounts of iron are of course also required for the synthesis of chlorophyll, a pigment which contains magnesium instead of iron. There is therefore a close functional relationship between iron and copper in physiology; both can form pigments mediating the respiratory function. Through breathing, oxygen is taken up and carbonic acid eliminated, the reverse of the process in plants. We can see here, yet again, the importance of copper in the transformation from vegetable to animal life, the animating, ensouling transformation.

Aphrodite-Venus and Ares-Mars were always falling in love; every nice girl loves a soldier. Ares was related to iron and the Iron Age replaced the Bronze Age as did haemoglobin haemocyanin. Can we discern any significance from the evolutionary-psychological standpoint in this movement from copper to iron in the bloodstream, a movement approximately parallel to the movement from invertebrate to vertebrate? Does it not represent a further stage in the ensouling process when iron strength of will, the courage to fight and wage war is added 10 the more feminine soul qualities of yearning, love, charm and beauty? And Aphrodite's husband was Hephaistos, the lame artist craftsman who according to some accounts was a dwarf but of supreme ability to forge the very weapons used by the votaries of his wife's lover. Hephaistos is the shadow of Ares.

How are we now to relate the function we are beginning to discern in the archetype Aphrodite-Venus to the function of the kidney? What has an organ whose function is usually confined to the elaboration and excretion of urine together with its role in maintaining the balance in the electrolytes, acid-base balance and so on in the blood, to do with ensouling the organism?

We can make a start with certain, as it were, gestures associated with the kidney and its functions. Firstly, we may mention the descent of the kidney from the phonephros to mesonephros and the ascent of the uterus. Does this find its mythological expression in the story of the origin of Aphrodite from Ouranos, who from the heavens descended to earth, and then in the symbol of his genitals to the sea? From there she arose again to earth which blossomed at her coming. But with this descent of the kidneys must be associated the ascent of the lungs, and as Konig has shown these two, lungs and kidneys, come to mirror each other. This too may find expression in the old story of Hermaphrodites.

Secondly, the kidney is related intimately to nitrogen metabolism and to the excretion of urea and uric acid, end products of that metabolism. We get a hint of the role of nitrogen in the contrast between carbohydrates, the characteristic stuff of plants and protein, the characteristic stuff of animals. That element in animal nature which brings about sense perception, desire and movement, the essential characteristics of animals, brings about also the incorporation of the nitrogen, its interiorization. Where in plants proteins do occur, it is often obvious that this same element, sometimes called the astral, has touched the plant. For instance, in the leguminosae with their rich protein bearing seeds we can also see their butterfly-like flowers. Nevertheless, we can perceive that these vegetable proteins are distinct from the animal, the astrality has touched from outside only, not worked from inside to incorporate the nitrogen as in the animal.

Thirdly, the kidney plays a miraculous role in maintaining the balance of the body fluids. It senses the fluids, it tastes the constituents and responds by reabsorbing from the tubules fluid and constituents exactly in amounts to maintain the fluid, electrolytic, acid-base balances. One can follow Konig's suggestion that the glomerulus, like an eye, sees into the fluids, the tubule like a tongue tastes them.

Fourthly, we must understand that the kidney irradiates the organism, lifting it up from mere vegetative life, to blossoming, sensing, motion, as did Aphrodite when she came ashore at Paphos. Some aspect of this irradiation acts through the renin and other products released by the kidney into the bloodstream. But even more important may be the two suprarenal glands which sit so significantly on top of the kidneys to catch the radiation and transform them into the adrenal hormones. We can also grasp the active agents in the action of these hormones as immaterial radiations which only require the hormone substances as slippers with which to gain entrance to the different organic realms. We can indeed say that these active principles are astral forces which do not themselves belong to the space of Euclid, but with the help of the hormone substances as catalysts can work into the physical spatial organism.

These kidney radiations, to which Steiner drew attention, can be regarded as the backthrust into the organism corresponding to the effort expended in separating and excreting the urine from out of the living whole of the body fluids.

We can in another way approach the nature of these phenomena through the contrast between a patient with Addison's disease and one with Cushing's syndrome. Addison's disease may arise through the destruction of the suprarenal glands and then, in the absence of the hormones, the kidney radiation cannot find a foothold with which to work into the organism. What do we see? A patient reduced to an almost vegetative state. Too fatigued to move or stand erect, pale and pigmented, a dangerously low blood pressure and a reduced level of sodium in the blood as against the potassium. Potassium belongs to the world of plants, whereas sodium belongs to the animal organism. As against this picture we have the patient with Cushing's syndrome which may come about through overactivity of the suprarenal glands due to a tumor. Then we find a patient red, florid, over-active, a bit obese and with a high blood pressure, restless and excited, full of inner anxiety.

To the action of the kidney radiations, mediated by hormonal substances, in many physiological processes, we must add an important role in the nutritional processes and the upbuilding of protein. Again we are indebted to Steiner for most fruitful suggestions as to the synergistic action of four principal organs in these processes. We must look for these actions in a generalized dynamic sphere rather than in localized structures. These four organ systems are the heart, kidney, liver and lung. The nutrition stream has to be enlivened by the liver, aroused, ensouled by the kidney, raised to be a fit ground for the ego-individuality by the heart and related to the earth through the lung. Of the essential chemical elements in protein we can then relate oxygen to the liver, nitrogen to the kidney, hydrogen to the heart and carbon to the lung. Again, it should be clear that we refer here to the dynamic processes rather than to merely inorganically conceived atoms.

In these ways, very briefly sketched, we can see the indications of the ways in which the kidney organ plays an ensouling function, arousing the organism from vegetative sleep to animal dream. When the kidney system is overactive then great restless anxiety comes about which may go so far as visual hallucinations and schizoid states. When it is inactive, apathy and sleep and inertia come about. The polarity in the action of coffee and barbiturates, which are both closely related in their molecular structure to urea, confirms these indications; coffee arouses, awakens; barbiturates sedate and put to sleep.

We must now approach the drug picture in the homoeopathic materia medica and then enquire into further extensions of the therapeutic use of copper.

When we search through the items recorded in the materia medica we find a theme running throughout. It can be characterized under cramps, or spasms, or convulsions. These terms must be understood as gestures. We find the cramps may appear mostly in the limbs or even in the peripheral arteries. But they also may occur in the uterus as dysmenorrhoea or in severe cramping colic. In the severe colicky pains of cholera, copper is a most valuable remedy. In the stomach the pain may be associated with gastric ulceration. Continuing our ascending study through the organism we find that copper can prove valuable in angina pectoris, cramping pain in the heart, and in asthma where the cramp is in the airways. It has been found one of the important remedies for the spasms of coughing in whooping cough and in laryngismus. Then there are various convulsions, jerking, chorea and in the mental and behavioral field, impulsive actions, piercing shrieks, delirium or melancholic sullen withdrawal. These extreme mental disturbances are also recorded: mania with biting, beating, tearing, foolish gestures of imitation and mimicry, full of insane spiteful tricks, illusions of imagination, does not recognize his own family. There is a further symptom recorded: the tongue darts in and out rapidly like a snake.

Of other features noted, one stands out as significant. Deeper disturbances develop when a rash or fever are suppressed or fail to develop or when emotions are suppressed.

All in all it is a picture of some violence and suddenness, ranging through cramps, including tetany, severe colicky pains and violent diarrhoeas, asthmas and whooping cough to spasmodic coughs which may culminate in unconsciousness. The mental spectrum seems to range from temper tantrums to full-blown insanity whilst also, at the polar extreme, appearing as apathy, perhaps boredom, rather than real depression. Restless excitability stands against lethargy and lassitude.

We record here in briefest statement the symptoms attributable to cuprum in homoeopathic provings and in clinical experience. Can we relate this picture to the image of charm and beauty that we found in the stories of Aphrodite. In these we meet the charm of early womanhood arousing sweet desire, and inducing springtime loveliness, gentleness, harmony and calm of season and the elements. Surely this grace bestowing being is what comes to mind when we think of the Sanguine temperament. The temperaments belong properly not exactly to the realm of psychology but rather to the living world of physiology. They impress themselves both into the soul world of behavior and into the more structural world of the physical body and even skeleton. The sanguine temperament is essentially the airy temperament. It represents therefore within the fluid living realm of physiology, sometimes called the etheric, the impress of the soul which finds its home in the airy element. It can therefore color, as a painter, the living realm and bring all the colors of the rainbow to play in the personality. The beauty and charm which a sanguine woman spreads around her is the working of Aphrodite and finds its organic basis in the kidney system. When slighted Aphrodite becomes a demon of destruction driving to madness and disaster. She speaks the prologue to Euripedes' Hippolytus and exposes this extremity of her nature, charm turned to revenge and jealousy. Is this the meaning of the peculiar symptom, the tongue flickering in and out like a snake's? This strange symptom is found again in the drug picture of Lachesis, a snake-venom.

It has been found clinically by Treichler amongst others that copper and its salts are important remedies in the treatment of schizoid and even fully schizophrenic conditions.

The restless, excitable conditions arising out of the overactive kidney radiations can also pass into the hyperthyroid processes of Graves' disease. In these conditions also copper as Cuprit D3 has been found of great use.

Of recent years attention has been repeatedly drawn to the phenomena of hyperventilation. Some patients are very prone under stress to overbreathe, and washing out too much carbon dioxide from the blood, upset the acid base balance and chemistry of the blood. We have indicated the close relationship between the lung and kidney systems which Konig has depicted in more detail, showing the importance of the kidney and bladder for the dynamics of respiration. The over-breathing of these patients would, from this viewpoint, seem to have its origin in the kidney system, and such patients can usually be found to be of sanguine temperament. A causative treatment should then be aimed at this system, in addition to symptomatic retraining of the breathing. The symptoms recorded as provoked by hyperventilation cover almost the whole field of "psychosomatic" and "psychoneurotic" phenomena.

Returning to the homeopathic experience, we find that Cuprum is associated by Paterson with a group of remedies around the bowel nosode "Proteus," of which he gives as keynote "Brain-storms." The other remedies included in this group besides Cuprum are Natrum muriaticum and the other chlorides, Ignatia, Secale (Claviceps purpurea, from which ergot derivatives are obtained). Apis, Borax, Conium and to these on clinical grounds should probably be added Belladonna and Chamomilla. The linkage of these remedies with the kidney is established by Natrum muriaticum (sodium chloride). Not only is the kidney concerned with maintaining the proper concentration of salt in the blood, but the sodium ion is intimately involved in the level of the blood pressure. Further, the homoeopathic indications for the use of natrum mur as a remedy include periods of severe strain and stress and grief. In this way the connection with the suprarenal glands and the stress adaptation syndrome of Selye is also established. Apis, the venom of the bee, is related to the kidney and produces diuresis. Actually, all the insect remedies used in homoeopathy have a relation to the kidney. The ergot derivatives have a spectrum of application or action very similar to that of cuprum itself. It ranges from spasm of peripheral arteries, through contractions and cramps of the uterus and smooth muscles of the alimentary canal to those peculiar cramplike phenomena in the circulation associated with migraine, to the full schizophrenic-like trip of LSD.

Paterson saw the main action of this group of remedies, in which he found the organism Proteus appearing in the bowel as a marker or indicator, to be sudden disturbances in the brain and central nervous system. This is an interesting observation and raises one more question. How is the central nervous system dynamically related to the kidney system? This question leads us again to consider that system of forces which are sometimes called astral. It is this system of forces which gives rise to the animal form by repeated gestures of invagination or interiorization. Hence arises the central nervous system, a main organ of these astral forces, which from and through it act formatively, sculpturally on the organism. Their action from the nervous pole is primarily paralyzing and katabolic. It is these same forces which are switched by the kidneys into constructive anabolic forces playing their part in the upbuilding of the protein. In these two modes of action we see the play of polarity which always characterizes these forces and which we experience also in their expression in the feelings. The emotional life plays between sympathy and antipathy, love and hate, pleasure and pain, all of which originate out of these astral forces in their development.

One further feature of the kidney corroborates these connections with the nervous system. It is the lack of regenerative capacity and the very high oxygen consumption they both share. These astral forces are opposed to the regenerative merely living forces and only their very high oxygen consumption keeps these organs alive. They are quickly damaged beyond repair by quite short periods of oxygen lack.

So we see the brain and central nervous system with which the voluntary muscles are connected, even if not in the way still commonly believed, stand opposed to the kidneys and the involuntary muscles and inner movement. The role of the central nervous system is rather to paralyze and sculpt purposeful movements from out of the vast ocean of potential movement. From the kidney system in its full sense arise the inner impulse and stimulus to movement, happily in gracious and charming gesture, unhappily in restless excitement and violent irrationality. Something of all this was present in the old use of the word for the kidneys, the reins: "My reins instruct me in the night season." Psalm XVI 7. "My reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things." Proverbs XXIII 16. And in Shakespeare we find,

Be true; do not give dalliance/Too much the rein. (The Tempest, IV 1 52)

Cold as if I had swallowed snowballs for pills to cool the reins. (The Merry Wives of Windsor, III 5 24)

I have begun,/And now I give my sensual race the rein. (Measure for Measure, 11 4 160)

When she will take the rein I let her run;/But she'll not stumble. (The Winter's Tale, II 3 51)

Some of these quotations refer to the reins with which we guide and control a horse and some more to the kidney. And now giving rein to our imagination, are not these two meanings related? Do not the reins draw down the nervous excitableness from the horse's head and bring it under control, as the kidneys were drawn down from the head region to the abdomen? Are the horse's reins and the uterus related?

Leaving aside these speculations, we can, however, see that the confusion which arose biologically long, long ago when the kidney system fell downwards and assumed excretory functions and became connected with the genital system, still persists to trouble us. It is more difficult on anatomical grounds for men than women to distinguish the excretory from the reproductive function, the profane from the sacred. Today the sacred is profaned and Aphrodite is dragged through the mire and mud. She takes her revenge, drives us into restlessness, nervousness and cravings for sensations and drugs - even into mad, destructive violence. Art and beauty alone cannot help us to restore her to her true function as the bestower of grace, charm and the freshness, loveliness of a new springtime, perhaps to flower now in a new spiritual culture in the souls of individual men and women and children.

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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:55 am

Link?

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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Hrodeberto

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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:45 pm

Nyet.
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Hrodeberto

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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Fri Aug 21, 2015 2:12 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:44 am

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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:02 pm

Hrodeberto wrote:
When it comes to Anthroposophically oriented anything it is imperative to look past while keeping the conjecture and structure of the content intact.
There's a lot of exclusive terminology which is oft used as recitation fanatically and axiomatically and Christian and humanist undertones, especially in the modern adherents who really reach with prejudice to squeeze and contort their beliefs into it, but which is easier to disregard in the more scientific approaches of the older questioners and examiners.

Still taking that into consideration, what does this sound like to you?

Steiner wrote:
"A long time ago I said to a friend, “It is just as important to study those organs which are grouped around the germ of the human embryo, and which are later discarded, as to study the development of the human germ itself from conception to birth.” The picture is complete only when we observe the division of the cells and the structure arising from this division, and also trace the catabolic processes that take their course side by side with the anabolic processes. For we do not have this catabolic process around us only in the embryonic period; we bear it within us continually in later life. And we must know in the case of each single organ to what extent it contains anabolic and to what extent catabolic processes. The latter are, as a general rule, bound up with an increase of consciousness. Clear consciousness is dependent on catabolic processes, on the disintegration, the destruction, the removal of matter. [Fundamentals of Anthroposophic Medicine, Lecture I, Stuttgart, October 26, 1922]

It sounds to me like neoplatonism.
Elimination of body resulting in increased consciousness.

"We" may interpret that as bodily [emotional/appetitive] hindrance is unproductive to sound reasoning - which I agree with and what all yoga aims to accomplish, but what did He and this school stand for?
What we can gather from it is one thing, but the anthroposophic school sounds like a regular J.-Xt. agenda.

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:58 pm

Someone with whom I made contact on the internet when I got back into it was of a shared assessment as mine regarding Steiner: his, like other leaders of devised movements, approach was to secure power in what he held as ultimate ideals. Similarly to Hitler, he used Christianity, albeit an esoteric formulation of bidirectionality in that it was elemental of east-west influence and confluence, in order to reduce and expand his commonwealth. Contrary to Hitler's predominance on active martial order, his was an exclusively interactive intellectual agency which naturalistic phenomenological order was of a spiritually scientific orientation. In the end, as you said, it was neo-Gnosticism, which orthodoxy then and now decry as heresy, but still Christological in content.
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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:42 am

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:37 am

Traditional medicine here, Chaga tea, it's expensive so I haven't used it in a while
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I add Maca powder daily to my coffee, I don't like the taste
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Quote :
Chemically Maca root contains significant amounts of amino acids, carbohydrates, and minerals including calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, iron, as well as vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E. Peruvian Maca also includes a number of glycosides.
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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Fri Apr 08, 2016 3:57 pm

David Frawley, Ayurvedic Astrology

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The predominance of humours determines what kind of opulence we radiate.

Some radiate a fierce opulence, a majesty,,, some a sexual opulence, a magnetic mesmerism, and some an airy opulence, a shining brilliance about them, a sage-acious vitality based on their humors-hierarchy…

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:21 pm

Burkert connects the shaman of the anc. Greeks with the funerary dirge:

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Medicine and Shamanism Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:07 am

Chinese Medicine: Low Yang energy and Phlegmatic Personalities.

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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