Homeopathy and the Search for Meaning Essay

6171 Words Aug 3rd, 2011 25 Pages
homeopathy and the search for meaning[1]
By Joseph Zarfaty

Introduction

We all know that when homeopaths meet to discuss a case, they rarely come out with the same remedy. An article I read in The Homeopath (Boulderstone 1994) suggested an inspiring explanation. Boulderstone said that two or more observers, albeit unprejudiced, cannot be the same. For this reason, different analyses of a case will exist with their different accompanying remedies. What causes the cure, is not the actual remedy given but the whole process of taking the case and understanding the patient.

I believe that the act of understanding is closely linked with the notion of meaning. In this paper I will discuss this concept briefly and will then introduce the
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The physical symptoms subside. Now the same shadow has a totally different meaning, invoking a different reaction.

The second example demonstrates the complexity of meaning. It was given originally by Reuben Hersh in his book 'What is Mathematics, Really?':

When you need to see a doctor, his secretary finds a gap in his schedule. What is the gap in your doctor's schedule? Is it a material object - a blank space in a book, say? Not at all. If the secretary doesn't write down an appointment, there can be a blank space, but no gap in the schedule. Is it a mental object? If so, in whose mind does it reside? the doctor's? no, because he may think he has a gap when his secretary knows better. The secretary's, then? No, she just writes down appointments, she doesn't remember them. ...These are coherent thoughts shared by many minds, through communication. You, the secretary and the doctor all have to have the same idea about that gap, before it has any meaningful existence (Stewart 1997).

Meaning has a major influence on people's health. One example of its bodily manifestations can be found in the Multiple Personality Disorder. MPD is an abnormal condition in which two or more well-developed personalities exist within the same individual. Each may take over at a particular time, and each bears a different meaning to the patient. When a person with MPD shifts from one personality to

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