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Appearances and Circumstances – Grant Bentley

Author: Grant Bentley
Publisher: Pennon Publishing
ISBN: 1-877029 47 5.Softcover, 286 pages
Price:$42 USD
Reviewed By: Dr. Manish Bhatia

This book by Grant Bentley is an effort to elaborate his work on finding the miasm of a patient through homeopathic facial analysis. Every homeopath who has read Allen, Roberts, Kent, Ortega etc is aquatinted with the broad physical and mental profiles associated with each miasm. But Grant has gone one step ahead and has documented the finer differences in the facial features associated with each miasm. The work started by collecting cured cases of a well known anti-miasmatic remedy like Sulphur, Mercurius or Thuja and then analyzing the facial features of the patients to find the common characteristics. After having ascertained the basic characters in this way, Grant and Louise Barton have fine-tuned the system through clinical testing.

This book outlines the history of miasms as well as the current understanding and controversies relate to the concept of miasm. It then goes on to explain Grant’s understanding of miasm through general discussion, profile of each miasm and related cases. There are a couple of key points in Grant’s understanding of miasms that are worth pointing out –

1. There is only one dominant miasm in any person.

2. There are only 7 miasms, five of which are known and named (Psora, Sycosis, Syphilis, Tubercular and Cancer) and two are still unknown (Syco-Psora and Syco-Syphilis).

3. Instead of giving a name to the miasms and to remove the confusion of Miasms being related to the actual disease, Grant has tried to evolve a colour code for miasms which is as follows: Psora – Yellow, Sycosis – Red, Syphilis – Blue, Tubercular – Green, Syco-Psora – Orange, Syco-Syphilis – Purple and Cancer – Brown.

When I started reading the book, initially I had difficulty in relating to the colour code. Every time a colour got mentioned and I would need to flip the page to find out which color is related with which miasm. The concept of name of colors instead of miasms, takes time to sink in. And even after reading the whole book and becoming acquainted with the concept, the thought process was not straight. It was not possible to unlearn what we are used to. Whenever I thought about a miasm, the name would pop up – ‘ok, this patient belongs to Syphilis miasm –>Syphilis means ‘blue’–>blue is related with following facial characters’. So the reasoning was not starlight and I am not sure if the colours would ever be able to replace the names of the miasms.

There are some other problem areas with this book. The author has used to concept of colour coding at many places even before the full explanation of various colours is given. The colours should not be used to describe anything until the book presents a full understanding of each individual colour (miasm). It makes it a bit confusing.

Some of the ‘spiritual’ reasoning could also have been avoided like:

“The number of miasms in this model totals seven – hardly surprising considering the number’s vibrational flavour. It is represented by the seven heavens, the amount of colours in the rainbow, seven chakras in the body, the number of notes on a musical scale and in a mandala; seven is the number of universal harmony.”

The author has related Miasms with genetic transmission:

“Genetic inheritance and the miasms are interchangeable versions of one another. The study of miasms is the study of homeopathic genetics. But homeopathic genetics is not the same as its allopathic counterpart; homeopathic genetics is the study of psychological and biological trends.

A person’s dominant miasm does not change after the administration of the correct remedy, but the influence of that miasm is certainly lessened.”

But at the same time, he also relates it with our Karma

“What is the difference between miasms and karma? The short answer is, there is no difference at all. Miasmatic knowledge is nothing more than the age-old laws of karma with a medicinal application.

For majority of people, such crossover between science and spirituality is confusing and it could have been avoided in a text which is trying to give a scientific clinical way for applying miasms. But every theoretical work on miasms is bound to have many points of contentions and confusions. If you can filter these and focus on the clinical application, this book gives you a good tool for clinical application of miasms. If Grant’s work gets verified universally, it will help simplify the use of miasms in clinical practice.

Overall, I feel the content of the book is good and useful but it could have been edited better. If you want to learn about Homeopathic Facial Analysis, then this book is going to be your primary guide.

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