Tales from the Underground:A Natural History of Subterranean Life by David W. Wolfe

Tales from the Underground:
A Natural History of Subterranean Life
by David W. Wolfe

If you dig into your back yard’s soil just a pinch, David Wolfe tells us the soil you retrieve between your fingers is from a unique underground realm, a surprise riddled dimension of life. In this book, Wolfe, a soil scientist at Cornell University, leads his readers through a fantastic tour of the subsurface biosphere, home to the tiniest of microbes, microscopic threads of fungal hyphae whose total length measurable in miles, not inches, billions of microscopic roundworms called nematodes, a dozen to several hundred earthworms, 100,000 to 500,000 insects, other arthropods, and staggering numbers of single-celled organisms can be found.

Larger species of subterranean life and assorted critical topics are also discussed. These include prairie dogs, a keystone species that prior to being the target of genocidal attack from settlers numbered in the billions, black-footed ferrets, burrowing owls, the centrality of the nitrogen cycle and critical issues pertaining to the soil and ecology.

But here is what caught my eye:

As a homeopathic I am enthralled with the power of gemstone remedies such as Adamas, made from diamond, but also other gems such as Sapphire, Amethyst, Quartz Crystal, Ruby, and Emerald. What intrigues me is Wolfe’s discussion of the origin of life, seemingly a property emergent from inorganic crystals of which the gemstones are emblematic:

Introducing remarkable “extremophile” forms of life Wolfe argues that life on our planet most likely began not as is often thought in the primordial ocean but instead deep beneath the surface under extreme temperature conditions. Extremophile life seems to have sprung out of the earth itself, from clay crystals whose complex structure and chemistry apparently served in the evolutionary role of infra-structure template for the first, most primitive organisms. As increasing numbers of organic molecules such as those in amino and nucleic acids took over clay’s replication and synthesis functions the template could then be discarded.  Theorists speculate that clay made possible the very first sequencing of simple proteins and genes thanks to its unique properties.

The name given to the first man “Adam” in Genesis reflects our origins, an emanation from out of the earth. The similarly named, diamond derived Adamas addresses a profoundly existential question relating to our core identity: do I belong on this earth? As a substance diamond’s core consciousness expresses the dilemma of belonging vs utmost disengagement (that as a remedy it treats).  A collateral Adamas issue: “Must the experience of deep grief disable me from the experience of joy?” goes to the heart of our earthbound existence.

The technical term for the complex relationship holding between soil and the original spark of life is biomineralization, a vibrant, new field.

To further explore the gemstones and their deep meanings, Peter Tuminello’s lovely book, Twelve Jewels cannot be recommended highly enough.


Translating “Phlegmish”What your quality of sputum reveals

Translating “Phlegmish”
What your quality of sputum reveals

Got impacted sinuses, or gunk constantly in your throat?  Does your nose and throat burn?  Symptoms like these lament about your stress. Translating from the phlegmish decodes the message.

According to the Alternative Medicine Review, approximately 14 percent of the population suffers from sinusitis.

Let’s examine this common problem from a mind/body perspective.

Consider your automobile’s carburetor, the engine component that mixes liquid fuel with air. When liquid gasoline is mixed with enough air to form a fine spray, the fuel becomes explosive and very easy to burn. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory your body’s Spleen is similar: It is responsible for metabolism, the conversion of foodstuffs into combustible metabolic energy. Just as a dirty carburetor makes for a sputtering car engine, a clogged Spleen causes metabolic inefficiency.

This is evident in low vitality and “dampness” features that include looseness of the stools, fatty tumors, mucosal and sputum irregularities. Being more than just an organ, the Chinese Medicine version of the Spleen is disharmonized by mental and emotional stress, particularly worry and anxiety.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) pulse and tongue diagnosis combined with the physician’s perception that his patient worries too much culminates in a Spleen disharmony-correcting action plan: Acupuncture points stimulation, possibly herbs and a directive to stop worrying so much.

Within homeopathy the prescribing is even subtler, taking into account whether the worrying has an angry, bitter, or disappointed quality. Remedy prescriptions showing awareness of “angry,” “bitter,” or “bitterly disappointed” phlegm result.

Some examples:

  • Kali Bich: People needing this remedy have chronically impacted sinuses. They also tend to be highly family oriented and out of anxiety, prone to keeping their lives small, limited in the breadth of their concerns. They make for good civil servants in other words. Not that there is anything terribly wrong with such a world view but the “compacting” of perspective discomfits the Spleen and compacts phlegm within the sinuses.
  • Kali Carb: Folks in need of this remedy are attached to existing structure. Overly judgmental and viewing ethical matters in black and white terms they are stressed by change, transitional situations, and inconsistency in other’s ethics. A Kali Carb person’s Spleen reflects this discomfiture, causing the mucous membranes to also become “black and white”: Insensitive to moderate levels of moisture they are always either too damp or dry. The throat constantly needs to be cleared since it is always full of gunk.
  • Ammonia Carb: Someone needing this remedy is bitter with the world, often from having had a mean father. Trying to camouflage the bitterness, the vital force refuses to play along. The mindset is betrayed by the Spleen that diminishes fluid production (yin) resulting in angry phlegm. An aversion to water is also seen along with pathologies within mucous membranes of the respiratory organs, weakness of the heart, wheezing, and tendency to feel suffocated.
  • Muriatic Acid: Someone needing this remedy is caught up in a deeply disappointed relation with his or her mother. The Spleen rebels by decomposing bodily fluids. What results is: Involuntary stools while passing urine, mucous membranes of the digestive tract particularly of the mouth and anus becoming dry, bleeding and ulcerated.
  • Nitric Acid: A person in need of this remedy is negative, critical and grudge holding. His unhappy Spleen thus dries and stops up his nose. It also dehydrates the anus causing hemorrhoids. The stomach lining is inflamed causing susceptibility to heartburn and reflux.

As they never quite say in the TV commercials, if you suffer from sinusitis or respiratory congestion, talk to your homeopath. He understands Phlegmish!


Why Only Some Cells Sicken: New Research on Tumor Development Aids Interpretation of Cancer

Why Only Some Cells Sicken: New Research on Tumor Development Aids Interpretation of Cancer

How do cancers start? Why do many cells that have cancer genes never turn cancerous? These remain vexing questions within oncology research. Working with transparent organ-revealing zebra fish Dr. Leonard Zon of Boston Children’s Hospital, Dr. Charles K. Kaufman, and their colleagues have made headway in terms of answers. A recent issue of the Journal of Science  reports observations of the very first cell of a melanoma in development.

Standard thinking is that transition from normal to oncological results from a random mutation. What the researchers found was other than random: a cell that had reverted to its embryonic form (a pre-differentiated state when it could have developed into any cell type) just before becoming a melanoma cell.


A bit of background:

Skin cells that became cancerous did so due to having activated a gene known as crestin that is normally turned on during an early phase in the embryonic life of neural crest cells found to occupy an area close to the brain. When the fate of such cells is later determined and they become skin, bone or teeth for example, the crestin gene is turned off. The cancer process’s choice of embryonic cells to start out with makes perfect sense since embryonic cells proliferate readily and like tumor cells can develop their own blood supply.

Knowing of the role of embryonic cells in the cancer process is useful. But many cells harbor oncological genes and never become cancerous. What explains that? Or turning the question around, why do certain cells (choose to?) become cancerous? Researchers will continue to grapple with these questions.

My own work involves interpreting the process through which people become ill with various chronic conditions including cancer.  The mind/body perspective allows for and reflects how changes in consciousness create or negate disease susceptibility. My book Interpreting Chronic Illness, the Convergence of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Homeopathy and Biomedicine utilizes a system derived from Chinese Five Phases theory that I call Sense Dimensional Analysis.  Though it appears metaphysical the system actually has predictive power. For example, it allowed me to predict a relationship between distortion in the sense of smell and Alzheimers disease prior to its being clinically demonstrated.

The book’s analysis of cancer section is lengthy. What follows are key points. Notice how comfortably the new discovery concerning embryonic cells fits. Cancer is analyzed as a disharmony in each of the five Sense Dimensions, meaning failure to resolve key embedded issues.

Cancer described and explained according to Sense Dimensional Analysis:

  • Sense Dimension of Touch
    At the physical level this dimension pertains to cardiology and the circulatory system. At the spiritual level it pertains to heart symbolism and all its associations.  Within this context cancer represents failure to resolve a core antinomy pitting Isolation versus Synchronicity. This is expressed by contact insensitivity displayed by cancer cells elbowing into unfamiliar tissue. They fail to respect the integrity of neighboring nearby cells. Featuring communion, responsibility and love at Touch’s positive pole, the tendency of cancer cells to go on suicide missions and exhibit martyr-like loyalty to the tumor rather than to the over-riding organism expresses isolation and asynchronicity. Touch being associated with the dependent state of infancy and childhood, the originating melanoma cell’s embryonic state as described above is not unexpected.
  • Sense Dimension of Taste
    At the physical level this dimension pertains to digestion and metabolism. In spiritual terms it pertains to issues surrounding nurturance, ambition and growth. Within this context cancer represents failure to resolve the core antinomy pitting Anxiety versus Challenge. This is expressed by the aggressiveness (morbid Challenge) and rapacious hunger of the ever-expanding tumor.
  • Sense Dimension of Smell
    At the physical level this dimension pertains to the lungs and respiration. When we sob from loss our breath is chaotic. And so at the spiritual level this dimension pertains to grief as noted within Chinese Medicine. Breath and the sense of smell orient us in time. Control of the breath role in centering meditation practices helps us overcome disorientation as when we become overly attached to the past. Within this context cancer represents failure to resolve the core antinomy pitting Disorientation versus Centeredness. Though too complicated to describe fully here, Interpreting Chronic Illness demonstrates how a certain class of aggressive cancers of the breast (a bodily area overseen by the Lungs, or Metal in Five Phase theory) resulting from a genetic mutation knonw as a frameshift perfectly manifest disorientation occurring at the genetic level.
  • Sense Dimension of Hearing
    At the physical level this most complex dimension pertains to fluid metabolism, but also the bones, the kidneys and bladder and genetic inheritance.  At the spiritual level this dimension is about existential issues such as what is my life worth and what happens to my soul when I die? Within this context cancer represents failure to resolve the core antinomy pitting Entropy versus Consolidation. This is expressed by the well-established genetic or inheritable basis of cancer, within my model synonymous with the consolidation of a legacy (something Chinese Medicine handles with great sophistication in energetic terms).
  • Sense Dimension of Sight
    At the physical level this dimension pertains to the nervous system where seizures and spasms reflect inner chaos. At the spiritual level this dimension pertains to vision in the large sense, as in our vision for the future or a greater vision for mankind. It also concerns creative regeneration, immortality and rebirth. As vision is panoramic it can force us to confront what we would prefer not to see. This inspires anger. Anger prompts our either lashing out blindly or converting anger into something possessed of enduring value, namely creativity. Within this context cancer represents failure to resolve the core antimony pitting Chaos versus Creativity. We find the morbid creativity of the tumor in seeking to colonize unfamiliar tissue and the monstrous physical distortions that pursue. The tumor cell reproduces indefinitely due to never shortening its telomeres. The recently discovered fountain of youth upon which it so falsely draws—the ever-youthful embryonic cell as found in melanoma—parodies natural rebirth such as found in the season of spring. Last but not least, cancer manifests morbid Sight in terms of the tumor cell population’s general blindness to an over-riding fact: the tumor will not survive the death of its host.

If you want to a live long and healthy life here is advice you can take to the bank: advice: Make a point of resolving the core issues embedded within the five Sense Dimensions. Interested in finding out where you stand with regard to Sense Dimensional health? Create (and meditate on) on the self-diagnosis mandala I have developed.   It can also be found in the appendix of Interpreting Chronic Illness.

Got Toxic Friends? Talk to your homeopath about these remedies!

Got Toxic Friends? Talk to your homeopath about these remedies!

The Toxic Relationship Cure, Clearing Traumatic Damage from a Boss, Parent, Lover or Friend book describes homeopathic remedies that can help undo the trauma we do to one another.

The Lovepanky website lists ten types of toxic relationships waiting to happen unless a certain type of friendship can be avoided. Let’s look at these and suggest one or two homeopathic remedies that can help you not become susceptible in the first place. Talk to your homeopath, if any of this applies to you!

#1 The Cheater

Friendships have been crumpled because a best friend has made an overture to a friend’s boyfriend or girlfriend. Avoiding making best friends with sneaky flirts, sweet talkers and flatterers is advisable.

At least three homeopathic remedies come to mind for people who are prone to betrayal. These are Mag Carb and Mag Mur. Here, due to emotionally deprived background like that of an orphan, folks become friendless and have an interesting tendency to be peacemakers. Ignatia is a remedy for someone who has suffered so severe a grief that her resulting mentally unbalanced state places her at risk of turning even good friends against her.

#2 The Competitor

Though competition in a relationship can be healthy, certain individuals can lose touch with the sporting aspect in which competition is secondary to support.

The remedy Drosera comes up for people who tend to inspire jealousy in others who then seek to outcompete and bring them down. Nux Vomica comes up for people who are themselves such competitive Type A sorts that their friends have little choice but to engage with them through over-competition.

#3 The Leech (or as is said in Yiddish, the Schnorrer)

Someone who constantly borrows from or depends too much on you is one is best avoided. Too one-sided a relationship.

As we tend to attract individuals who are a bit like ourselves, the remedy Psorinum might be considered! Psorinum individuals are caught up in over-neediness. They are always keeping track of what they have and what they lack. This kind of poverty-consciousness is contagious and snares lovers and acquaintances in the self-same whiny mindset web.

#4 The Copycat

Though imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, a friend who looks or behaves like your clone is someone verges on being a stalker. Send out signals that this is not welcome pronto!

What attracts this sort of friend would be a personality possessing weak boundaries. Remedies that can solidify interpersonal boundaries so that copycats are less likely to be attracted would be Phosphorus (for folks who are easily affected by impressions but also have personalities that sparkle); and Vernix Caseosa (individuals who because of an unprocessed issue from infancy are overly vulnerable).

#5 The Shrink

What is the point of having a friend if you cannot confide in him or her? But having that in our relationship also puts us at risk of our partner knowing too much. If he or she then picks us apart, or begins to analyze us to death, that’s a serious downer.

If your partner picks on you to death, you might benefit from the remedy Folliculinum (for people who have been treated like a doormat). On the other hand you might find intimacy intrusive despite, as a sensitive individual tending attract secret-information spillers! You might benefit from a grief remedy such as Natrum Muriaticum. It will help you to process your grief and become less susceptible to incursions into your privacy.

#6 The Selfish Friend

An unfortunate example of those needing help first helping themselves, this type of individual places himself at the center of the universe. And then is only passive when you yourself are in need of help.

Some folks are easy marks for this sort of attention. When that’s the case, poor self-esteem is usually to blame. Many homeopathic remedies come up for folks who cannot say no, or are otherwise taken advantage of. These would include Thuja (folks with horrible judgment), Carcinosin (who take on all projects) and Lycopodium (big time people pleasers).

#7 The Wild Child

Dangerous and unstable types can get you into hot water. That can come from your efforts to help them, or from you yourself being drawn into risky activities.

Keeping away may be easier said than done if you yourself are prone to enjoying thrills. There are numerous remedies that can help tame a wild thrill seeker. These include: Medorrhinum (tendency to sexual excess, alcohol and drug addiction); and Lachesis (intense individuals who need to drink just in order to control their urges).

#8 The Whiner

This type of friend takes up a lot of your oxygen. Never satisfied, they whine and grumble about circumstance you yourself can do nothing to help them with. It’s a constant bring down to have to listen.

And yet you have attracted this person and DO listen to her sympathetically! Are you tending to over-commiserate? Not that there’s a lack of unfairness in the world, but folks with a big bone to pick about injustice attract birds of a similar feather. Not to mention they are prone to anxieties, skin and digestive ailments characteristic of remedies made from potassium. If you need one of these, your homeopath might well be prescribing something like Causticum for you.

#9 The Mood Killer

Mood killers seem to find a flaw in anything you do or have, be it your clothes or your love life. Unlike The Shrink though, they cannot be accused of trying to help you. They are just plain toxic — a lone dark cloud hovering. Depressing.

So the deep lesson here could be that maybe we are ourselves depressed; and/or are unconsciously granting permission to others to vent their angst on us. There are a number of remedies that a homeopath must sift through before selecting among in such a case. One remedy that comes up when someone reports feeling they have a dark cloud hovering over their head is Cimicifuga Racemosa made from black cohosh. This remedy state is not uncommon in post-partum depression, when the new mom is likely to experience her perfectly nice husband as a mood killer.

#10 The Jekyll-Hyde

This friend has serious mood swings. He or she can go from friendly to snappy in a New York minute, and with no warning or reason apparently. Most people would not be close to such a person for very long unless unavoidably, he’s a family member. On the other hand,  narcissists can show you their Dr. Jekyll side for quite a long time. Then, after you’ve been friends for a while, suddenly their Mr. Hyde side pops up and you find yourself blindsided.

Again, it is not out of the question that if you are involved with someone like this and not needing something like a Doormat remedy then a) you may need a remedy similar to the one your Jekyll-Hyde needs, just from having absorbed his toxicity; or b) you ARE like that same person which is why you have attracted him.

The primary remedy for Jekyll-Hyde people (there actually are numerous ones) is called Anacardium Orientale. Folks needing Anacardium somewhere along the line have been seriously dominated by a parent, sibling or other intimate individual. They suffer from terrible inner conflict akin to having a good angel and a bad angel at constant odds with one another. Thus, they are prone to being hard and cruel on the outside, weak and helpless on the inside. Taking this remedy promotes a much needed integration of the personality that effectively deletes the Jekyll-Hyde personality division.

As they never quite say in the TV drug commercials: Talk to your homeopath if your toxic friends are ruining your life!



Chronic Illness and Dream Interpretation: the Parallels

Chronic Illness and Dream Interpretation: the Parallels

Read a wonderful book recently, Healing Dreams by Marc Ian Barasch…
Enthralling and entertaining, Healing Dreams is worth the price of admission for the dream accounts alone. For me personally, it brings to light a number of parallels between dream interpretation and how a homeopath prescribing for his chronically ill client goes about interpreting her remedy state. My own manner of doing so, based on an integration of three healing modalities, homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Biomedicine (conventional medicine as it is known) is described in my book, Interpreting Chronic Illness.

Here are some of the parallels I’ve noted:


  • Certain dreams and specific remedies are transcendent and transformative;
  • A healing dream’s impact can consist of a question posed in symbolic language. Remedy states too pose a question. The symptom complex they present represents fallout from an unresolved existential question. In both dreams and chronic illness the question lacks a logical answer while possessing powerful emotional charge;
  • Both the dream and the impactful remedy pose an open-ended challenge to the tyranny of the ego, our ordinary waking consciousness;
  • Directionality is imparted to a broad range of normally not considered possibilities, some of which may not make sense until a future date. Jung has referred to these nether wishes as our Shadow. Chronic illness can be viewed as the Shadow venting its frustration;
  • Healing dreams and remedy states are realms where double meanings, puns, and idioms run rampant. Both dreams and case-taking can illuminate the literal manner in which a metaphor is playing itself out within an individual’s life;
  • Dreams and remedy states (such as when the distant past or family history legacy dominates) often reflect a seemingly irrational but nonetheless true unity within time: the irrelevance of separate and distinct past, present and future divisions;
  • There exist lucid dreaming states sometimes called hypnagogic reality. This is the realm Immanuel Swedenborg explored to find his truth reflected in the dictum, As Above So Below. A similar nether reality is found in non-resolution of Sense Dimensional quandaries described in Interpreting Chronic Illness: Isolation vs Synchrony; Anxiety vs Challenge; Disorientation vs Centeredness; Entropy vs Consolidation; and Chaos vs Creativity.

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