What is the soul exactly?… and how do we get to know it?
From Formal Cause to Implicate Order
Having a soul-based practice, and soul-based prescribing requires becoming acquainted with the dimension of soul. In the article “What is real?” I mentioned that the material dimension is just one of four. Soul falls into a different realm or dimension. This dimension was well described by Aristotle as “Form” or Formal Cause. Form, (Formal Cause) is the principle that differentiates or delimits a thing, and makes it what it is. It is a principle of actualization or determination. Plato’s “Theory of Forms” asserts that the highest and most fundamental kind of reality is the non-material, abstract (but substantial) forms, and not the material world of change known to us through sensation. Formal Cause was translated into modern terms by quantum physicist, David Bohm, as “the Implicate Order”. According to Bohm, the Implicate Order is a level of reality which forms and informs the material level of reality. Bohm’s theories are not unlike those proposed by Plato’s Socrates, who held that the world of Forms is transcendent to our own world (the world of substances) and also is the essential basis of reality. Form is super-ordinate to matter. Everything that exists has a “formal” dimension. There are countless tables in the world but the “Form” of table-ness is at the core; it is the essence of all of them. Everything that exists begins first with Form, or a Formal Cause, which, for a living organism, is called “soul”.
The Soul as the Organizing Principle of Life
The soul of a living being is the formal cause which organizes the material “cause” or dimension of the being. Without soul, the living being becomes a lifeless corpse, its chemicals and atoms quickly falling into disarray and disorder, as predicted by the second law of thermodynamics. The soul orders, organizes and orchestrates the material substances: atoms, compounds, hormones, cytokines, antibodies, cells, and all the physical structures of the organism into a living, breathing sentient organism.
How Can We “Know” the Soul?
Aristotle gave the name “Nous” to the faculty of the human mind necessary for understanding what is true or real. It is also often described as a form of perception which works within the mind (“the mind’s eye”), rather than only through the physical senses. This type of knowing is the one that leads to insights about the true nature of things. This process has been described by Hahnemann, Goethe, David Bohm and Einstein. Johann W. Goethe called it a “critically subjective scientific method”. This scientific method involves two stages: 1. Looking actively at something (or someone) in order to see it clearly, deeply, and as freely as possible from any prejudice including established theories, classifications, and mental models. 2. Then deepening understanding by living and reliving the object of our study in our imagination, seeking to comprehend its unity without analytical or abstract thought. This is how David Bohm understood the principle of the gyroscope, and how Einstein discovered the theory of relativity.
At MICH, we have discovered that using this method greatly enhances the homeopathic relationship and case taking process. We have developed a process we call “Holographic Case Taking” which incorporates the “Dialogue” process first introduced by David Bohm in a group inquiry into the essential nature of an individual. It is an engaging process of describing the client “dynamically” – how they move through, and with, life. The group begins to experience life the way the client does, and comes to insights about what is truly unique in the client. It is a process that engenders a naturally emerging form of compassion in the dialogue participants that is all embracing, and complete.
By suspending preconceptions, opinions, ideas and analysis, the mind is open to insights, totally new perspectives. The group begins to function as one mind as one thought flows into the next. When insights arise, they arise spontaneously for the whole group.
Higher Order Insight
This “higher order” insight is the basis of paradigm shifts and great discoveries of the true nature of things. This type of higher “knowing” contemplates general principles. Whereas only a lower form of knowing, such as technical know-how is accessible through empirical knowledge (directly through our measurement and our senses). Thus pure empiricism applies only to dimensions of a lower order, such as chemical reactions, chemistry and other attributes of non-living matter. It is a form of knowing that cannot access what needs to be understood fully about a living organism orchestrated by soul.
The soul belongs to higher dimensions that are accessible, or knowable only through the mind’s eye, and through analogy. Describing our experience metaphorically, through images, and the power of dreams as unconscious, immaterial experiences are closer to the soul than everyday physical 3D experience. The discoveries of cross-cultural “Archetypal forms” by both Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung further developed our understanding of the realm of the soul. Analogy and archetypes are the language of the soul.
Homeopathy: Soul-level Communication and Healing
Now let us consider homeopathy for a moment. It becomes immediately evident that this is the exact mode of functioning of homeopathy. The remedy chosen for a particular client has been shown to create a similar état d’âme in a healthy person who conducted a proving of the remedy. A homeopathic proving is the method by which the profile of a homeopathic remedy is determined by healthy individuals taking a remedy repeatedly over a period of weeks. Provings have been described as important in the development of the clinical trial, due to their early use of simple control groups, systematic and quantitative procedures, and some of the first application of statistics in medicine. The lengthy records of self-experimentation by homeopaths have been useful in the development of modern drugs. For example, evidence that nitroglycerin might be useful as a treatment for angina was discovered by looking through homeopathic provings.
The remedy chosen is based on how analogous its profile is to the state of the soul of the client. The remedy does not contain any material substance, it is an immaterial archetype of a natural source. The basis of analogy and the use of archetypes makes homeopathy the perfect modality to communicate directly with the soul. When used to its full potential , homeopathy accomplishes profound changes in the individual as a whole, that no other type of intervention can rival.
Likewise, when the homeopathic session is a “soulful” exploration, an improvement in health is often observed, even without a remedy. Greater wholeness, and greater health, is often achieved simply by showing an interest in the soul: knowing our soul brings meaning to our lives and holds our raison d’être. The remedy then stimulates a curative action in the soul, a new level of homeostasis.
Obviously, in order for a homeopath to be able to conduct such an exploration, he or she must be in touch with his or her own soul. And that process is one of the most personally enriching processes of our lives.
Judyann McNamara – N.D., D.Hom., CCH
Originally a physicist and biomedical researcher, Judyann has had a clinical practice for over 15 years, has held conferences since 1984 and has been a teacher of courses in physics, health sciences, homeopathy, holism and spirituality since 1975. Visit her profile page in our professional directory to learn more.