Silicea: The Princess on Pea.
Homeopathic Journal :: Volume: 2, Issue: 10, Aug, 2009 (Centre Stage) - from Homeorizon.com
Interview with : Mati H. Fuller, D. I. Hom. (pract)
Article Updated: Sep 02, 2009
(This article is a part of Interview Series with Dr. Mati Fuller about the Core Issues of Different Medicines)
Dr. Singh : Hi Dr. Mati, How are you?
Dr. Mati : So what are we discussing today?
Dr. Singh : It is about the sensitive silicea today. How can you describe Silicea personality?
Dr. Mati : Silicea is an interesting remedy because it has two traits that are almost opposite, which is unusual in the same remedy. There is either confusion and indecision, or unbelievable stubbornness, once the mind has been made up. Hard as flint is an expression I have seen used about Silicea. This reflects the traits of the mineral that Silicea is made from (hard as a rock). This unusual combination of traits is always a strong indication of Silicea. On one hand she is timid, cautious and dependent on others, and on the other hand, she may be determined, stubborn and quarrelsome. Her basic nature is more timid, shy and cautious, however. She is often very capable intellectually, but at the same time, she lacks confidence, similar to Lycopodium. She is a somewhat fragile being who is very sensitive to many things, like uncomfortable clothing and shoes, etc.
Dr. Singh : We can understand Silicea's sensitivity and fragility through the "Doctrine of Signatures."?
Dr. Mati: I'm sure it is possible to do so; it just isn't my approach. My interest lies in analyzing the core traits of the remedies, and using these traits as a guideline for pinpointing the remedy when taking a case.
Dr. Singh : Was it this sensitivity and fragility of silicea that made you compare it with Phosphorus and Pulsatilla. You grouped them as high rank persons. What exactly does it mean?
Dr. Mati : By high rank I mean nobility, royalty, rich and famous, or upper class of society. I always base my statements on the mental symptoms found under each remedy profile. For example, if we study the mental symptoms associated with the Phosphorus profile, we find: pompous, important, delusions distinguished, delusions great person, is, delusions rank, he is a person of, delusions rich, as if he is, delusions wealth.
The way I interpret this is that the delusions are reflections of what happened in the original situation, often something that happened to someone's ancestors. The original situation was never resolved, and was therefore passed down to the offspring so it could be resolved in the future. This is why we are here to learn lessons and resolve old issues. In my opinion, this is actually what karma is unfinished issues that still needs to be resolved.
Because we keep acting out the original situation over and over, even though it no longer applies in the "here and now," it eventually shows up as delusions in our remedy profiles since these perceptions are no longer happening in this reality. In the case of Phosphorus, the delusions indicate that Phosphorus was originally a pompous, haughty person of high rank. He or she was distinguished, wealthy and had very high thoughts about him or herself. In this lifetime, Phosphorus may be poor, but the attitude from the time when she was a person of high rank is still there. In other words, she may still be a bit of a princess, at least in attitude!
If we look at Pulsatilla's mental symptoms, we find: haughty, contemptuous, despair, social position of, fear high places of, fear misfortune, of. From these rubrics, we can assume that Pulsatilla also is a person of high rank, or a bit of a princess or at least a person of upper class. Why else would she fear losing her social position, or fear high places, which can also mean that she is afraid to fall from a high place. As you can see, my assumptions are all based on the rubrics, especially the delusions under each remedy.
When it comes to Silicea, we find: haughty, contemptuous, anticipation from examination, anxiety, anticipation, from an engagement, fear of appearing in public, looked at, cannot bear to be, fear of failure. She, too, is haughty and contemptuous, which is an attitude that is mostly found in people of the upper class of society. She has a fear of appearing in public, fear of being looked at, and fear of failure. Unless you are rich or famous, nobody will look at you if you appear in public, so this fear can only apply to someone in a high position in society. We also find anxiety, anticipation, from an engagement, and anticipation from examination. In other words, Silicea is afraid of being tested and judged, and afraid to make mistakes or fail. She may be famous or upper class, but there is obviously a lot of pressure on her to perform, or to uphold a certain image in public, and all this pressure fills her with fear. Therefore, her main delusions are the fear that everything she does will fail and that she will be judged harshly by others.
As far as I can see, this applies perfectly to the life of a real princess. She has to appear in public in front of people who can judge her; she is expected to participate in all kinds of engagements, and this fills her with anticipation anxiety. What if she is not good enough? What if she can't pass all the "tests"? What if she is not good enough to become the queen some day? What will happen then?
As I contemplated the issues that are associated with Silicea, a princess with fear of failure, fear of tests and fear of appearing in public, it reminded me of the story of the princess on the pea.
Dr. Singh : Oh! That is why you compared silicea to the Princess of Pea?
Dr. Mati: Yes, initially it struck me that silicea and the princess have something in common and the more I thought about it, the more I saw parallels between the fairy tale and the issues associated with Silicea.
I have realized that fairy tales are not just stories for children they are actually archetypal patterns written by people who had a lot of wisdom and understanding of human nature. In the story of the princess on the pea, there was a prince who wanted to find a real princess. Silicea is definitely a real princess. Everything about her is very refined; her fragility and sensitivity, her manners, her long slender fingers, her slim body and even the way she dresses. Anyway, in the fairy tale, many princesses came to see if the prince would marry them, but evidently, nobody was a true princess. One rainy night, a young woman knocked on the castle door. She told the old queen that she was a princess, and asked if she could have shelter for the night.
The old queen knew of a test that she could use to find out whether the girl was truly a princess. So, she piled up 20 mattresses and 20 down comforters on top of each other, and put a small pea under the lowest mattress.
The next morning, she asked the girl how she had slept that night, and the girl complained that the bed had been extremely uncomfortable, so uncomfortable in fact that she ended up with black and blue bruises all over her body. On hearing this, the old queen was very happy, because only a real princess could be that sensitive. And, of course the prince married her since she had passed the test.
This story fits Silicea perfectly. The princess in the story has to pass a test before she can marry the prince, and if she fails the test, it means that she simply isn't good enough. No wonder Silicea has so much fear of being tested or judged, as well as fear of failure combined with low confidence and fear of not being good enough. She is also very sensitive to external influences, just like the princess on the pea, so this is why I picked this story to illustrate the Silicea personality. I think that stories are great tools, not just for remembering all the qualities that goes with a remedy profile, but they also make it easier to understand where a remedy's perception of reality is coming from. Knowing what happened in the story, we can easily understand Silicea, and just as easily recognize the remedy in a client's story, too.
Dr. Singh : O.K., this must account her timidity and fearfulness. What are fears and delusions?
Dr. Mati: The main fears in Silicea is the fear of not being good enough, the fear of being judged or tested and the fear of making mistakes and fail, which explains why her confidence is so low, even though she is often perfectly capable intellectually. This is also why she often has a hard time making decisions, even though she is perfectly capable of doing so, and often ends up depending on others to make the decisions for her instead. This makes sense, of course, because if others make the decisions for her, she can't be judged, and she can't fail! So we often find that Silicea people, even when highly qualified, may still not be in a place of power, responsibility or influence. They usually prefer to work under the guidance of others.
Dr. Singh : That was a great observation Dr Mati and a beautiful way of presenting the personality of Silicea. But why does keeping up her image and loosing her position affect Silicea so much?
Dr. Mati : To understand the remedies, we must always try to understand them from the perception of reality that goes with the remedy. In Silicea's case, she is a princess who doesn't trust that she is capable enough to become a queen some day. She is afraid that if she makes mistakes or fails in some way, she'll lose her position and someone else will become queen instead. And, then, what will happen to Silicea? Will she get to stay in the castle? Will she be thrown out? She wouldn't know what to do with herself, or even how to take care of herself if she was thrown out of the castle, because she had always lived sucha a protected life where other people often made all the decisions for her. She had never even worked for a living because all her needs were taken care of, and she wouldn't have a clue how to deal with money (except spending it, of course).
Well, I know that if I was in her position, I would also be afraid to make a mistake that could cause me to lose my position. Therefore, it is easy to understand why Silicea is so worried about upholding her image, and why she hates making her own decisions. Keeping up her image has become her main survival mechanism because if she can't keep up her image and be perfect, she is basically doomed! Therefore, she definitely prefers to stay "out of the limelight" and she tends to withdraw whenever she is hurt, since she hates arguments. Arguments tend to intimidate her fragile nature, unless she has already made up her mind about something, and she would really rather avoid the whole confrontation and hope that the issue would just go away if you forget about it
Dr. Singh :What about the Relationship Zone of Silicea?
Dr. Mati : In relationships, Silicea prefers a mate who is willing to take care of her financially, and who is strong enough to make most of the decisions as well. A Nux, Lycopodium, Arsenicum or even a Nat Mur are often good options for a mate. Because she is a bit of a damsel in distress (dependent and fragile), Nux, especially, is very attracted to her since it appeals to his need to save someone. She is attracted to him, too, because he is so strong, confident and determined. He makes Silicea feel very safe, and because Nux loves public attention, it takes the attention away from Silicea, which is exactly what she wants. However, this relationship combination can easily get a bit rocky, since Nux is very flexible, while Silicea usually has very fixed ideas. Because Nux has no fear of failure, he loves to jump into new things, which scares Silicea very much, so there is plenty of opportunity for conflict in this relationship. Silicea is just way to cautious for Nux and tries to hold him back in many ways. This makes Nux feel irritable and angry, and his anger makes Silicea feel both intimidated, and that she isn't good enough for him.
Lycopodium is another option. Neither Silicea nor Lycopodium has a lot of confidence, and both are often timid and shy, so in that sense, they understand each other well. Lycopodium feels good if he has a wife who looks up to him and lets him make most of the decisions, and since they are both cautious and both like to plan things properly, this combination is often better than the Nux/Silicea combination.
The Arsenicum/Silicea combination is a lot more challenging. Silicea will look up to Arsenicum and let him make all the decisions, but Arsenicum can never resist judging and criticizing others, so Silicea is sure to suffer in this relationship.
Nat Mur/Silicea is another possibility. Both have fixed ideas and both like being on a schedule of some sort. This relationship will definitely be somewhat rigid, but if they both feel comfortable with that, it might work just fine. Nat Mur will be the decision maker in the relationship, but like Arsenicum, he might judge Silicea too much since Nat Mur also has high standards and perfection issues. As I have mentioned before, there isn't really any perfect relationships, since all remedy combinations will bring up issues in each other.
Dr. Singh : Keeping in mind the Tubercular miasm of Silicea. How does it affect her?
Dr. Mati : Tubercular is a combination of Psora and Syphilis, so it depends on which one is stronger. If Psora is stronger, Silicea can be very quick and excitable with a clear mind and abundant ideas. If the syphilitic influence is stronger, Silicea can be more dull and sluggish with a slow mind and lack of ideas.
Dr. Singh :Finally what are the good and bad side of Silicea lady?
Dr. Mati : The best traits of Silicea: She has a very unobtrusive personality, mild mannered, shy, timid, refined in every way with a strong intellectual capability.
The worst traits of Silicea: Stubbornness, fixed ideas, indecision and confusion, lack of spontaneity, tendency to be too rigid.
Dr. Singh : Such timid and sensitive nature surely make Silicea predisposed to trouble?
Dr. Mati : Silicea's biggest challenge is to overcome her lack of confidence, so this is something she has to work at. She also needs to become softer and more flexible, since a little softness will make her a lot less fragile and also easier for anyone to live with.
Dr. Singh : Thanks! Mati.