Survival - the Reptile ( Vol. 1 & 2 )
The class of reptiles in the animal kingdom is an array of creatures from the lizards to the extinct gigantic dinosaurs that includes the shelled turtles and tortoises, the huge and powerfully built crocodiles and alligators, and the limbless, slithering snakes.
What do reptiles have in common? Reptiles are coldblooded. This gives them a distinct disadvantage compared to other creatures. Unlike mammals, reptiles are not able to sustain exertion in order to escape from a predator or pursue a prey. Being coldblooded, they are not able to generate heat and need to come out in the open to bask in the sun.
So what survival strategy do they adopt?
Each reptile adopts its own unique survival pattern, yet reptiles in common are often hidden, camouflaged and rely upon sudden and surprise attack.
Dr. Rajan Sankaran brought into homoeopathy a unique integration between the symptoms of a remedy and the characteristics of the source of the remedy from nature. His first book in the animal series Survival - the Mollusc clearly delineates the survival strategy of the molluscs and its representation in the symptomatology and cases of mollusc remedies. This book on reptiles does the same for the reptile remedies. Co-authored with Dr. Meghna Shah, this book studies the survival strategy of reptiles in general and each reptile in particular. This book shows how this information. Integrated with traditional information of these remedies and with clinical cases from several experienced homoeopaths, makes our remedy selection far more precise than ever before.
Book Reviews - Homoeopathic Links - Autumn 2011, Vol. 24 Page : 199
Reviewed by Joseph Rozancwajg, New Zealand
Having learned a lot from “An Insight into Plants” 1 was looking forward to this book.
After the usual introduction and reminder of the Sensation System, and the very welcome reminder that this method should be used only after a full training and understanding of basic homeopathy, Sankaran guides us through general information about the reptiles, then through every category: turtles, crocodiles, snakes, lizards, tuataras and even dinosaurs, reviewing most of the members of each family, with the exception of the dinosaurs.
There is a lot of zoological information, insights into the lives and behaviours of those animals and as a “biology enthusiast" 1 really enjoyed those details... but where is the homeopathy?
Instead of looking up and grouping the findings in provings, cured cases and repertories most of the space is spent telling us about the “possible expressions in humans” (sic). There are some rubrics, materia medi- ca, and provings when available but only in very small, restricted amounts (I was going to write in homeopathic dilutions...). Apparently Sankaran has transposed the reptilian world unchanged into the human world... that is called anthropomorphism or for homeopaths it is the old Doctrine of Signatures reborn in the 21st century.
Provings do show the human expression of pathology; that is what we are after. For example, on page 779 we find the food cravings of Elaps corallinus, as Sankaran himself discovered during an earlier proving of the remedy; this snake does not eat any of those foods! On page 900, we read in the mentals of the Crotalinae “a snake scared of its own violence". That is a human expression; for the snake “violence” is normal, healthy behaviour. Certainly, the opposite is true: we find symptoms in a proving and can then relate them to the specific lifestyle of the particular reptile, allowing us to differentiate from others and to memorise the facts. But to claim that a patient who retracts himself and closes up needs a tortoise remedy because that is what a tortoise does naturally seems to be a bit of a stretch. Relating the clairvoyance found in snake patients to the snake’s ability to find its prey and “see” through infrared sensors and vibration sensors is a far-fetched interpretation even though the facts are correct.
As usual, there are plenty of cases that reacted very well, some of them still needing repeated doses (then they are not cured, isn’t it?), others having returned to normality. This is proof enough that the system works, no doubt about it. And certainly, the parallelism between the way of life of certain animals (normal) and the behaviour and pathologies in patients (abnormal) is present and clear, but the way it is presented in this book makes it a direct projection from one realm to the other without its pathological transformation that we can find when doing a proving.
The Reptile appears to be more a detailed exploration and explanation of Sankaran’s Sensation system rather than an informative materia medica like the Insight into Plants. It will certainly appeal to his students and followers, and rightly so. For those of us who only want to understand the remedies better, it is a good addition to the regular textbooks, a very detailed illustration with fabulous pictures and detailed biological knowledge.