Reviewed by Olga Fatula, MD, and Leonid Anikeev.
To start with, we enjoyed reading the book. Then, our patients enjoyed the curative results achieved with the help of Jan’s new discovery of the Lanthanides.
This is not simply another Materia Medica book; it is a great scientific work. It combines the theory (the approach), the detailed description of each Lanthanide and its salts, then provings and finally, a lot of cases – altogether four in one. Jan managed to put into one printed volume a huge amount of information; it is unbelievable one man could do it.
The introductory chapters are worth being published in a separate book. This is the scientific part of the work spinning from the theory of Elements through peculiarities of case taking to a unique system of scoring results. Jan reminds about the system that he developed; it was initially introduced in his famous “Elements”. He offers the same approach to the line of Lanthanides. The subsequent sections present the very essence of understanding cases, including symbolic language that practitioners should properly interpret. Jan goes into the deep scientific side of studying remedies and cases. In this book he does it with his inherent precision and punctuality combined with his deep intuition and attainments. Sometimes we wonder, how much information Jan must have obtained, memorized and systematized?
The body of the “Secret Lanthanides” consisting of about 350 pages comprises the profound study of the Lanthanides in general and Materia Medica for each of these remedies in full detail, from psychological portrait to physical symptoms. Jan contrived to include properly matching mythology and natural history to illustrate the character of each remedy for the full-fledged understanding of it. The detailed description of all features typical for a Lanthanide picture (autonomy, power, self-control, shadow, reflection, isolation and others) is followed by even more expounding explanation of every theme.
The next fifteen chapters devoted to each element and its salts are laid out in approximately the same format as it is in his “Elements”, so the readers of Jan’s earlier books who understood how to use them can easily make their way through the abundance of indispensable information, from Lanthanum metallicum to Lutetium fluoratum.
The analysis of each remedy is done according to the scheme that Jan developed earlier, that is a criss-crossing of the Series with the Stage for each element and then putting on an overlay of the salt component. Then Jan comes to unique themes peculiar for each element. (In brackets: Until we learned this approach we could never imagine, say, a prescription of Europium phosphoricum with the symptom of “deep inspiring learning experiences”. That case happened a year ago with successful results.)
Subsequently, the book includes a series of provings, mainly dream and meditative. Jan prefaces the provings with a well-grounded theory of conducting them, naming the remedy, as well as any other influence on a human being, a “signal”. Though debated by many, meditation provings confirmed their value in drawing the “picture” of the remedy, which Jan illustrates with his (and not only his) cured cases.
Addenda gives a good example of a quick reference to peep into if one unexpectedly forgets that Prometium is placed in Stage 7 or that “dooming” might indicate Thulium.
Jan Scholten’s works are often criticized or neglected by the homeopathic community. The review of his “Repertory of the Elements” in a recent issue of Links is an evidence of this. Alas, at this point of time not all of us are ready to understand and accept new theories invented by others. In fact, this is a good sign. 200 years ago a certain scientist was strongly criticized by his colleagues for each of his consecutive researches, experiments and new inventions. His name was Samuel Hahnemann. Somewhat later another doctor and scientist, Dr Swan was opposed for his endeavor with Lacs provings. There were dozens of such pioneers in the history of the homeopathy who did not encounter appreciation from their colleagues during their lifetime. Presently, all of their books constitute the core of our Materia Medica. The contemporary doctors ardently debate about the new series of research done by Jan Scholten. So, it can happen that his works will be instruction manuals for every homeopath in the 22nd century.