Moschus (Case Studies)
A concept of Moschus with provings, rubrics and five case studies.
- Author: Karl-Josef Muller
- 61 pages
- Printed in Germany
Reprinted with the permission of The Society of Homeopaths, from 'The Homeopath' magazine, Spring 1998 edition. Reviewed by Paul Houghton.
This is an excellent little study, vividly bringing to life an under-used remedy and at the same time illustrating other aspects of homoeopathy at its best, in particular case analysis, and the process of building up a real picture of a remedy with the right balance of creative thinking and respect for hard facts.
The author is a classical homoeopath and 'heilpraktik-er' working in Zweibrucken, a small town in south west Germany. He apparently runs a busy practice and also regularly gives well-attended courses and seminars locally and throughout Germany. Muller, who is about thirty years old, does not consider his english to be good enough to do presentations to the English-speaking world, but this little book on Moschus is the latest of several that have been translated by the English homeopath and ex-teacher of German, Alan Crook.
The book contains accounts of six cases cured with Moschus by Muller himself, two other reported cases, a proposed Moschus 'concept' based on Muller's observations and reflection, a list of repertory rubrics expressing this concept including a few suggested additions, and a compilation of mnemonical-ly-useful and generally interesting things to know about musk.
The weakest part of the book is unfortunately the first bit one comes to; two and a half pages of rather disorganised thoughts including introductory remarks to this book, a few references on the others, and some platitudes on the importance of provings and clinically-verified symptoms. It seems that Muller is concerned to pre-empt criticism in this age of ballooning repertories and speculative materia medicas for writing about the picture of a remedy on the basis of clinical verifications without having done a proving of the remedy: he need not worry, both sources are fully acknowledged as legitimate sources of our knowledge, and what follows in his book is exemplary work with clinical experiences.
The book was clearly conceived as a contribution to a dialogue, or several dialogues, between Muller and his students and the wider homoeopathic community. He refers to the other studies and invites response. The material in this book could probably be reduced without much loss to something that could be carried by one of the professional journals, and in this form it might perform the author's intention even more successfully. The book takes us through the process of discovery that Muller himself experienced: there is a universal tendency to believe that to reproduce this experience is the best way of conveying the results to one's colleagues, but this is probably an error.
Muller could award himself the credit for a valuable accomplishment and simply present the cases, the analyses, the rubrics and the remedy picture as it all fits together in retrospect, in a simplified form which could be assimilated most easily by the profession, swamped as we are with demands on our attention, which would be thus rendered the greatest possible service.
In his own stated objective of describing the steps that lead him to Moschus in the individual cases and from there to the general concept, Muller is fully successful. We read a fascinating case of a ten year old boy brought with repeated episodes of headaches and vomiting. Among his characteristics are arrogance and an extraordinary criticism of others who do not meet his own values, such as non-vegetarians. He must be best, but he hates others to know about it. His mother frequently describes his behaviour as 'hysterical'. He gets some relief from Platina.
Then his mother's own case of nausea in pregnancy draws Muller's attention to Moschus, partly because of a 'hysterical' element in her symptoms. Muller studied Moschus again in the light of the boy's case and found among its delusions one which he felt perfectly expressed the boy's state; delusion, elevated, and would fall. This is a single remedy rubric added to Synthesis from Herbert A Roberts' classic Sensations As If. Moschus helped the boy very much. From this Muller started to build up his new understanding of Moschus.
In his proposed concept of Moschus Muller notes that often a strong and controlling father is important in the case; there is fear of failing to meet the demands, aggravated by thinking of the problem. Moschus children, like the deer, love to climb, literally; the adults are ambitious and arrogant of lesser creatures. The musk deer, and the remedy type, strive to prove their masculinity, sexually and otherwise, although a careful observer will be able to spot the childish element in their behaviour and perhaps an odd attachment to animals. They try to keep their achievements hidden so that any demise will attract the least possible attention from others, who are perceived as hostile. The fear of falling is ever present, they often come with physical symptoms of impaired sexuality and vertigo.
Moschus is obtained from the glands located close to the genitalia of the musk deer Moschus Moschiferus which produce the celebrated odoriferous secretion during the rutting season.
The English prose of this translation is slightly awkward; a couple of times this reader's eye was tripped up by unnatural idioms. But no doubt Alan Crook's first priority was to make the translation accurate to the standards of his own integrity, the extent of which is manifest in his writing on homoeopathy and Christian doctrines, and on the whole one has the feeling that one is hearing the patient's own language, and Muller's own mental process with as little distortion as could be reasonably asked. The more successful a translator is, the closer he approaches invisibility; Crook has performed his thankless task effectively.
This is not a book you need to own unless you are an incorrigible collector of everything. But one could very profitably study it once, and add the remedy to one's inner materia medica of the therapeutic agents to which one has at least been introduced.