There are books that take time to be written, and there are books that take a long time to review. The Companion to Homeopathy by Collin Griffith is both! It took the author 7 years to write the book and it must have taken me 7 months to write the review. The author probably took that long to complete this work because he wanted all his knowledge and wisdom to be available at one place. I took so much time to review as it did not seem possible to write a single review of this work.
One reason is that this is a huge book – 820 pages to be precise and secondly, in its various sections, it seems to address people at different levels of knowledge about homeopathy. The book is divided into three basic parts. Part I deals with introductory homeopathic philosophy; part II deals with maintaining causes and obstructions to cure; part III deals with miasms.
When I started reading the first part, I was quickly absorbed and engrossed in its contents. The examples, metaphors and analogies that fill the chapters in this part, get a hold on you. This is perhaps one of the most lucid and inspiring introductions to homeopathic philosophy that I have read in years. Every idea, every approach has been explained clearly with the help of real life cases. I thought that every first year homeopathic student and even allopathic physicians should read it. It will give them much clarity, confidence and vigour. I even thought about writing to Colin to make a low cost edition available for Indian students.
Then I moved on to the part two, which deals with the exciting and maintaining causes. I must say that this is the most exhaustive work on exciting and maintaining causes that I have ever read. The author delves deep into details of physical trauma, surgical operations, allopathic drugs, hormonal contraceptives, dental amalgams, defective nutrition, vaccination, allergens and even the relationships within a family – which can work as exciting and maintaining causes in a case. Many of the insights and examples were thought provoking and will make you look into your failed cases once again. Colin Griffith must be congratulated for the systematic study of all these factors.
The third part, which deals with miasms, is the most exhaustive part – with nearly 400 pages. The author has covered six miasms in detail – Psora, Sycosis, Syphilis, Tubercular, Leprosy and Cancer. AIDS, Diphtheria, Malaria, Typhoid and Cholera have been covered as ‘Minor’ miasms. Each major miasm has been described with the help of information about the disease, its nature, history, anecdotes and case examples. Collin has an inclination towards eastern religious philosophy which becomes apparent when he discusses miasms and their hereditary influence in relation to ones ‘karma’. Many readers may not be able to relate to this part. The section on miasms is heavy and serious reading.
Overall, I think this is a very good and original work. But I would have prefered that this book was split into three different books. The reason is that each part is written at very different level. While the first part has been written with lay people in mind, the subsequent chapters are more heavily oriented towards the students and practitioners. The style of the book is also refreshing; it’s like a long conversation, an interesting dialogue with an experienced homeopath. To end this review, I will like to borrow a paragraph from Miranda Castro’s introduction:
“Virtually every homeopathic stone is here, conscientiously turned. How nice that this book is written in a refreshingly conversational tone that makes it easy to access. The ‘companion’ is ultimately about the humanity of homeopathy. Practitioners, students and patients alike cannot fail to be humbled and impressed by the workings of the Vital Force as Colin Griffith describes this healing journey from the inside out.”