When we were first introduced to repertory, which repertory did we see first, open and explore? The majority of us will say Kent’s Repertory, some will say the repertory of Oscar E. Boericke integrated with Boericke’s MM and so on.
Exposure to Kent’s repertory is so common due to its popularity, its brilliant plan and construction and ease of use. It fits suitably in the category of logico-utilitarian repertories. But what about other repertories. In the light of modern repertories and software programs like Complete repertory, Synthesis etc. we have almost forgotten other repertories like the Therapeutic Pocket Book, Boger Boenninghausen’s Characteristics and Repertory, Knerr’s Repertory, Clarke’s Repertory etc. The reason for this is very simple; modern repertories have integrated mostly all rubrics from these repertories and improved upon its lacunas. They are constantly being upgraded and thus the need to consult different repertories has become redundant.
It must be remembered that one repertory is never sufficient for all the cases that come to you and so one should be familiar and master the use of various repertories to adapt yourself to using them according to the case presented. Also, classical repertories like Kent’s, BBCR, BTPB, Knerr’s etc have remedies which are more reliable as they were constantly verified and reverified by the authors and practitioners, unlike modern repertories which have various partially proved remedies (although they have other merits).
Through this article I want to focus upon the mind chapter of a not so popular repertory viz. Boger Boenninghausen’s Characteristics and Repertory (BBCR). To study the mind chapter of BBCR we must first familiarise ourselves with the philosophy of Boger. And before you read further I recommend having a physical copy of BBCR ready or a computer software having the repertory.
Boger was inspired greatly from Boenninghausen and his work on repertory, mainly the Repertory of Antipsorics and Therapeutic Pocket Book. The majority of rubrics in his repertory are derived from BTPB and the plan is derived from Repertory of Antipsorics. But he felt that although Boenninghausen had done a remarkable work it was lacking in something and thus it faced all the criticism that we all know. He wanted to improve upon the work of Boenninghausen and complete the repertory by filling up the empty spaces that it had; and so, he added Agg. & Amel., concomitants, time modalities, cross references, causation in every chapter, thereby improving the overall usability of the book. We can see his elaborative work in the Fever chapter.
His idea of completeness, taking a broader aspect during repertorisation is reflected throughout the repertory and even in the mind chapter. For example, he combined various synonyms like absence of thought, lost in thought, absent-minded into one broader rubric:
This helped him to combine some empty rubrics for which only certain cross references are mentioned in repertories like Kent’s Repertory (see below)
(Kent’s Repertory Enriched Indian edition reprinted from 6th American edition)
But if you see the same rubric in BBCR, Boger combined Amorous, amative, lascivious, lewd into one:
This structure thereby reduces confusion and chance of omission of the suitable rubric for a given case during rubric selection. He has given cross references in various rubrics: Distraction is given in above mentioned rubric of Absence of thought. Again, if you see Distracted, it is combined with various rubrics like preoccupied, unobservant, difficult concentration, can’t think. The more you explore the Mind Chapter of BBCR the more you will see the similar structure throughout. (Some of the mind rubrics are also given under the rubric Emotions in Agg. & Amel. in gen.)
Some Interesting rubrics and discussion
Now let’s look at some interesting rubrics in the mind section and try to understand the remedies given in them and how they make sense.
Meaning to beg (someone) for something, to ask in a serious and emotional way to do something.
The remedy given here is Stramonium. Stramonium persons usually try to resist their fears and emotions unless those become too strong and then they will ask for help. Young people with some hysterical conditions show this kind of praying and singing devoutly.
Meaning- quality of being very fierce or violent, very great or extreme.
Opium is given. The extremeness of Opium are seen, like he can read a book for six hours without being fatigued. Then again there is great sadness, tears sobbing, hopelessness at one stage and then there may be great calmness of the mind, forgets all ills, all pains, all sensations etc.
Meaning not having or showing good judgement, revealing things that should not be revealed.
Natrium. mur. is given. Natrium-mur. has a tendency to be awarded both mentally and physically. He usually fumbles and does not know what to do in an uncomfortable situation or whenever he has to show emotions, and in such places, he may say foolish things and may reveal secrets, not purposefully but involuntarily as an effort to hide his emotion (see Laughing, serious matters, over- Kent’s Repertory) and maintain his outer tough image.
Meaning festivity, a wild and noisy celebration.
Several remedies who like to party are listed here like the late-night party person Nux. vom. who engages in late-night work at the office and then goes to a pub and drinks alcohol and then wakes up late, combined with a sedentary lifestyle. Lachesis is listed as they are young people who are hungry for experience and that hunger is satisfied through stimulation like alcohol, sex, drugs etc.
We see Cicuta vir. Here. He has been hurt in the past by a person so much that he closes off and doubts everyone. It is somewhat a mistrust or delusion of being cheated, a doubt about the outcome of anything and whether it will work, will be successful, and may be someone will cheat me etc.
Meaning concern and anxious about someone’s health, happiness.
In this rubric, three remedies are given in the main rubric viz. Drosera., Ignatia., Staphysagria. Drosera is anxious about being persecuted and feels that his enemies will not leave him alone; there is a feeling of being trapped inside, of being cheated. We can easily correlate Ignatia. and Staphysagria. in this rubric. The sub-rubric contains Sepia and Sulphur; Sulphur being selfish and Sepia due to her indifference about others, being mainly concerned about their own health and they have anxiety and apprehensiveness mostly in the evening.
Lastly, we know about the anxiousness of Arsenicum alb. in trifles and Cocculus ind. is a person who usually nurses and they take care of sick people and they have a genuine feeling of ‘solicitude for others’.
The mind chapter in BBCR is an interesting one although not as complete and versatile as some other repertories but they are very genuine and reliable and as a result, several modern repertories such as Robin Murphy’s Homeopathic Medical Repertory and Complete Repertory by Roger van Zandvoort have picked up various rubrics including the above mentioned ones from it. They have improved upon it by adding several other remedies from their experience, provings and clinical verification. No repertory is perfect just as no homeopath is, and thus we must have an idea about the works of these great stalwarts so that we can adapt ourselves to use them as the situation demands.
- Boger Boenninghausen’s Characteristics and Repertory with corrected & revised abbreviations and word index published by Bjain Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
- Kent’s Repertory Enriched Indian edition reprinted from 6th American edition published by Bjain Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
- Homeopathic Psychology, Philip M. Bailey published by Bjain Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
- Gallavardin Psychic Medicine by Jean-Pierre Gallavardin.
- Handbook of Materia Medica and homoeopathic therapeutics by T.F. Allen.
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary.