The AIDS Miasm
by Peter Fraser
This book describes how disease has developed alongside technological advances. It traces the development of miasmatic illness in parallel with the evolution of human society, and shows how the recent communications revolution has resulted in a totally new miasm: the AIDS miasm. Part two illustrates in depth how the new homeopathic remedies are true pictures of the needs of today's patients and how vital they are to treat contemporary diseases. This book will enhance your understanding and practice of homeopathy in the 21st century.
- Written by an experienced practitioner.
- Provides an understanding of the evolution of miasms.
- Links contemporary society with the AIDS miasm and modern disease states.
- Provides an in depth understanding of the new remedies.
- Fascinating and useful for anyone with an interest in complementary medicine.
- Author: Peter Fraser
- ISBN: 9781874581239
- 336 pages
- Published in 2002
- Printed in United Kingdom
Reprinted with the permission of The Society of Homeopaths (from "The Homeopath Journal April 2003 edition). Reviewed by Nick Hewes.
Peter Fraser is, at the present time, one of the UK's most original homeopathic thinkers. The fact that he chooses to plough a lonely furrow, beyond the confines of either medical or professional' homeopathy (is there not a more felicitous term out there?), signifies perhaps his defiant sense of philosophical independence. Certainly his new book, The Aids Miasm, could only have been written by someone who is clearly determined to think for himself.
The book is divided into two parts, the first of which examines the place of miasms in homeopathy. The second section examines some of the newly proved remedies; their symptoms are abstracted and compared, in order to support the writer's assertion that a new miasm has been born - the AIDS miasm.
The first section of the book makes for a very gripping read. This is due to Peter Fraser's strikingly original vision of how and why the miasms actually started in the first place. He claims that each miasm represents humanity's reaction to major changes in our cognitive or technological ability.
Thus, technological developments "will be reflected in the ailments of the individual". The author admits that his refreshing new angle on miasmatic philosophy is heavily indebted to the work of the '60s media guru, Marshall McLuhan, a writer of whom many have heard, but few have read. One of McLuhan's main tenets was that the medium of communication, whether it be speech, TV or e-mail, has far more impact upon us than the actual content of the message: - thus his famous aphorism, "The medium is the message". In the case of TV, for example, "The effect of the content dwindles into complete insignificance when compared to the effect that. television has in and of itself".
Peter Fraser believes that the arrival of speech, in our collective past, would have created a new awareness of past, present and future, which would have given rise to "apprehension and anxiety" in our distant ancestors. The end result of this anxiety was the psoric perception of life as a struggle for survival.
The next great miasmatic change would have been the discovery of writing, which allowed human beings to widen their scope beyond "the experience of a single person", and to thus go beyond the verbal confines of the tribe, towards "the establishment of a large and successful city-based society...Trade, money and banking are all the direct consequences of writing". The inevitable result of these changes would have been economic overgrowth, and the synchronous birth (twins?) of sycosis.
The conditions for syphilis, Peter Fraser reasons, were born out of the discovery of printing, which was the first truly industrialised process. Industrialisation requires a completely regimented and suppressed population, which provides ideal fodder both for the dark satanic mills, and also for their equal and opposite image, the destructive maw of syphilis.
The most recent technological shift is the arrival, in the last fifty years, of the 'Electronic Age'. The book's central thesis - in fact its raison d'etre - is that the electronic media have brought about "an almost complete destruction of the concept of distance in both space and time...the result of this is that the world becomes a global village".
This has caused profound changes in the way we see the world, and the consequent adaptations we have been forced to make have given rise to a new miasm - the AIDS miasm.
AIDS is a disease that is characterised by a destruction of boundaries. The immune system, which is destroyed in AIDS, defines the boundary of the individual as a physical entity - between the self and the not-self. On a spiritual level, the provers of the AIDS nosode experienced an analogous dissolution of boundaries: "A feeling of oneness with my fellow man and the whole universe".
Peter Fraser believes that this sense of oneness, so characteristic of many of the new remedies, also carries within itself the seeds of its opposite: isolation, detachment and alienation.
On the basis that "A new disease may require a new remedy", the author has, in the second part of the book, trawled through dozens of new provings for evidence of post-modern feelings of 'boundary-loss' and alienation, which he believes are so characteristic of this brand new miasm. And to be fair, it is amazing how often the recent provings do indeed appear to express these themes. Take Coca Cola, for example: "I feel my heart open to encompass all humanity". (As Peter Fraser notes, this imparts an extraordinary echo of the false unity espoused by the 1970s Coca-Cola TV commercial: "I'd like to teach the world to sing".)
The second part of the book, occupying 250 pages, represents a massive task of compilation and classification, an achievement, which has been facilitated, ironically, by constant recourse to computerised word-searches, which have then been lovingly translated back into the old medium of the printed word. From a stylistic point of view, this diligent and scholarly use of proving data occasionally takes on the appearance of a series of lists - a fact that does not make for easy reading.
On the positive side, Peter Fraser's collation of proving data may serve as a valuable work of reference: - a kind of thematic repertory of the new remedies. The fact is, many of these provings may never get into print. If this is the case, this book may be elevated to the level of essential reading for the informed homeopath, due in no small measure to its excellence as a thematic catalogue.
Not all of the remedies in the book's second section are new: - a few older provings are included because they appear to bring out the 'boundary' themes very strongly. Thus we find established remedies such as Anhalonium, Anacardium and Cannabis indica. One wonders though, why certain remedies were left out. Why, for example, was Nux moschata included, and yet no mention was made of Camphor, a remedy whose nineteenth century proving could have served as a veritable soliloquy for David Bowie's mythical Major Tom, one of the more popular symbols of our age's free-floating sense of disconnection?
Continuing the theme of selection, one wonders why some of the newer remedies are also omitted. Nuala Eising's excellent proving of Granite, for example, does not merit a mention, despite that remedy's crippling sense of isolation, whilst Ignis and Vacuum, two of her more recently proved remedies, are given fulsome coverage. This seems very odd, especially since Granite has been used curatively in the treatment of Ukrainian children damaged after the Chernobyl meltdown, thus proving itself a prime remedy for the Electronic Age.
A good book will sometimes ask more questions than it answers. The AIDS Miasm falls into that bracket. The first question that needs to be asked is: - do we really have a new miasm out there? Do we really need a new miasm? Could we not say that the idea of boundaries being destroyed is really a syphilitic process? Dissolution and destruction are essentially syphilitic, and the physical symptoms of AIDS, after all, do seem to almost mimic syphilis at times. (As if to underline this point, there is even a book by Harris Coulter with the title AIDS and Syphilis.)
The idea of escaping boundaries could also be seen as a tubercular process; the apparent liberation bestowed by electronic media is really only a form of mental travelling, after all. The tubercular miasm is all about breaking through boundaries: - it evokes a sense of dynamic optimism, consuming one with the idea that literally anything is possible. If you want to know about boundary loss, try reading Keats' Endymion, or Shelley's Ode to the West Wind. Both of these romantic poets went as far as they could, and then further, without the aid of either a laptop or a mobile.
Another weird possibility is that, at this point in our history, we may somehow be rowing upstream towards some kind of enlightened recognition of oneness, approaching the very source of psora. For is not psora, at its most simple level, a result of the rigid walls we have built around ourselves over thousands of years, walls which have served to separate us from creation, from each other, and from ourselves? Perhaps the modern phenomenon of boundary-loss indicates that we, and our world, are undergoing a truly seismic change, and that we have actually entered a New Age -a pre-psoric age - without realising it. Thus, Niro Asistent, one of the very first people diagnosed with AIDS in 1983, says of the disease:
I think it is the most powerful teacher that has ever existed on the planet".