The Noble Gases: the starry night of Helium
The noble gases are the key to understanding the periodic table. The elements of the periodic table are the building blocks of the universe. I therefore embarked on an investigation of the noble gases towards a deeper understanding of health, disease, and our materia medica. I never imagined it would take me twenty years, but the effort has been well worth it, unfolding new dimensions of perception.
The journey began in 1993 with the proving of Neon. This was followed in 1995 by Helium and 1997 gave birth to both Krypton and Argon. My friend and colleague Silvie Gowen later proved Xenon and Radon. I have recently done a full proving of Xenon. Thus, the six noble samurai are complete, missing only the elusive seventh of their number, ‘Element 118’, which I have nicknamed Luciferium. Collectively, these remedies form a family, grouped together not only by their unique placement in the periodic table but by the nature of their proving symptoms.
There are seven periods in the periodic table. The end of each of these periods is punctuated by one of the noble gases which represent the fulfilment of each period’s aspirations. All the preceding elements struggle through life in a constant state of lack and dissatisfaction. They are missing one or more electrons necessary to reach a state of completion, balance and harmony. This struggle represents the continuous restless motion of life. The noble gases, possessing a full house of protons and electrons, have achieved this goal. Satisfied and whole in themselves, they exist in stable, inert, and isolated glory, and have no need of any other element. They are monatomic; they neither bind to each other nor do they form molecules. As such, they do not participate in the messy games of chemistry and life. Like enlightened beings, they wander across the universe, always present but never intermingling.
Out of 118 elements, only seven have reached this lofty state. The lesser elements, looking on in envy, aspire to attain this state but can only approximate it through chemical interaction and sharing of resources, namely electrons. If we can understand the inner nature of a noble element, we can understand the aspirations of all the preceding elements in the period, and consequently perceive what it is they are lacking and striving for.
The provings of the noble gases are a true wonder, an endless voyage of discovery, both as individual remedies and as a group. Through these provings, I have discovered many shared characteristics, a vertical line of meaning running through the whole group. At best, these elements align with the endless power of universal force. At worst, they survive in disconnected inertia. One characteristic of the noble gases is that they emit light when an electric current flows through them. It is my hope that these books will supply you with some of the voltage needed to enlighten your homoeopathic journey.
“I am 36 years old. I have had homoeopathic treatment for four years with little improvement. I am very anxious about being here. I couldn’t sleep last night. I had a dream that you gave me a ‘starry night’ remedy. I have been having a tough time with my husband for the past two years. We have not been sexual for two years. I don’t feel dead sexually, I am just not attracted to him. I am passionate, emotional, and confused. I have a very different answer depending on the time of day. It is a dilemma: how to do what is right for me and not hurt him? The dilemma is also: how will it affect my son?
I live in a perfect place. I have a vision of a backyard, wooded, and beautiful. Then, everything becomes distorted, a cut. And through the cut comes the unconditional love of God. I want unconditional love, but how hard it is to accept it. I need to fall into faith but I have a lot of fear.
I am financially dependent on my husband; how will I live and feel supported? I have a yearning for a total shift in perspective, towards joy and away from fear. I’m all cerebral now, but I want to move from my head to my heart. I want to feel comfortable in my body. (Observation: hand moves from head to heart.) I landed in my body and at times I leave it. I want to be totally in it. I started belly dancing, a sensual experience. I love dancing and music. I feel stagnant and when I move. I feel better. Internally, I am cold, freezing most of the time.
I want to be inspired to reach to the depths of my soul. I feel tired and I’ve lost inspiration. I am not thirsty, I struggle to drink. I crave sweets.
When I am sad, I shut down completely. It perpetuates my isolation. I don’t participate in superficial relationships. I like a relationship to be deep. I isolate myself for self-preservation.
In my dream, I was sitting with you and I take the remedy ‘starry night’. Then, opportunities open up and blossom. I’d like to see things for what they are, but I look at life through a filter. I see great potential in my husband. I’m at a loss. How to tell my husband, get to my vision? I want to feel safe. My husband has hit me. He is explosive. He is like a baby, he throws things and is petty.
I have a vision where I’m standing on top of a mountain wearing a white gown. My arms are out. If I just lean forward I would be ok, but I am too afraid to lean into it. I’m too scared to fall into faith. I need to take the fall, to lean forward, to follow my dream.
My dream is to be understood and to have a relationship with someone mature. I stand on the mountain, lean forward and fall into the mist on earth. I have so much to take care of on earth. I need to speak my total truth without fear. My basic fear is not being understood by my husband. My husband is a baby, but he says that I am selfish, that I consider myself first and don’t nurture him.
My parents divorced when I was six. My mother had severe depression and stayed in bed. I had the constant feeling of not being understood. Others didn’t understand me. People who live in their bodies view life as a journey, they look deeper.
I was poor as a child and thought I would be ok when I had money but I wasn’t. I have been taking off my jewellery. I can’t wear gold, diamonds, they don’t mean anything. I was wearing jewellery to know who I was. I want to be myself. In the past, I was being like everyone else. At times, I can be out there and be alone.
I have many dreams, vivid ones. I moved to a new place, there was beautiful furniture, a tortoiseshell chair that cost about $10,000. A woman, a part of me, was doing homey things. There was danger, a dangerous man. It was all a facade with violence underneath. I was trying to make it ok. The tortoiseshell was beautiful, maybe I’ll stay.
I had recurring dreams as a child. I am running away from danger and couldn’t get anywhere. I am falling, never landing. Going quickly down from a high place, from a four-storey building on a unicycle. I fall on a unicycle and never land.
I have a fear of the dark. I can’t watch horror film stuff, ghosts. I don’t want to see spirits, it scares me. I feel spirits, that’s ok.
During my mother’s pregnancy, her relationship with my father was not good. Her labour was very easy. I flew out of her body.
I have lower back pain when I stand. I like to sit. My neck goes out a lot. I love having it cracked and adjusted.
I feel ovulation pains. I have premenstrual headaches. I hold my breath a lot. It is a conscious effort to take a full body breath.
My hair is grey. I have bags under my eyes. I see my body is aging a lot, it is strange.
A huge thing is I don’t lie and I don’t like people who lie. No truth could ever be as ugly as a lie unrevealed. Intention is everything.”
Prescription: Helium 1M
2 months later: “The remedy was working as soon as I left the office. I was standing on the mountain and I knew I needed to take the leap of faith. I even realised that I had seen God already and needed to see the ground beneath my feet. The remedy was in all the cells of my body. I had realisations about everything, including my relationship with time. I had always been in a battle before, now I don’t run out of time. I feel very present. For the first couple of weeks, I felt a gentle weight on the top of my head, keeping me down. It was comforting and I was present in my body. For the first time, I was able to defend myself against my husband and speak up for myself.
I don’t have to leave my body. What is so great about leaving my body anyway? I leave my body unattended and open for violation, unless I have a specific intention to leave and safety around it. I am so grateful to be in my body. We are going on vacation and I specified to my husband that anywhere is ok as long as it is at sea level.
I have a fear about digging in the ground and putting my hand in the ground. I realise that being close to the earth is hard. My relationship to my body has been one of total discomfort. But going out was leaving it open for violation. Now, when I wake up, I desire to feel my feet on the ground.
Five days ago, I got my period and didn’t know it was coming – no PMS. It was a gorgeous, flowing and red period. I enjoyed it, I felt alive.
I am very mindful of doing the laundry, sweeping the floor and being present. The sound of the broom on the floor is pleasurable.
I feel communion and community. (Observation: said with great feeling.) I am a part of the community and to be with people is great. In fact, I am not having enough alone time.
I am more comfortable in the dark. I slept alone this week with just my son. My husband was away and I felt really comfortable.
My neck and back pain are very good.
After you told me the remedy I had was Helium, I remembered that my husband proposed to me in a hot air balloon! What other way to propose to a Helium patient than when her feet are off the ground!
Helium has touched me in my whole being since I was conceived. Am I or aren’t I here – do I belong? That is why I needed to be affirmed all the time, to know that I belong. It is nice to have new information now and to be finding a place on earth.”
3 months later: the improvement has continued.
Themes of Helium in this case:
The main theme in this case that corresponds to the Helium proving is a soul that does not come completely into the body and is unable to manifest itself fully in life. In the proving, there are many themes of mountains in dreams and mental symptoms, with a desire to jump down onto the earth. Correspondingly, there is a feeling of disconnection between the head and the heart, leaving the neck area vulnerable.
A common idea of Helium is of uprightness without the ability to lean away from the vertical. Much faith and courage are required for a soul to take the leap from the vertical into the diagonal turmoil of life. Otherwise, the soul will remain forever in a state of static potential, which is neither activated nor manifested. In opposition to these ideas, we see the patient’s overly rapid birth.
The idea of being a baby is also prevalent in Helium. Falling on a unicycle represents the Helium idea of a soul, which is as yet undifferentiated into male and female. Although there is a connection to God’s love, it cannot be manifested in a life of physical action. In the patient’s dream, the empty tortoiseshell is like a body without a soul.
The idea of ‘starry night’ as a remedy corresponds to outer space and the realm of the soul. Because of the patient’s inability to live a life of action, opportunities do not open up and blossom. It is the same state of unmanifested potential that the patient sees in her husband. In this state, a person cannot feel understood because she is not connected via the bodily organs and shell.
Another idea in Helium is the inability to take a full breath, to connect spirit and body. The uprightness of the noble gases is also represented in a sometimes rigid morality. In this case, the patient was unable to lie. Her statement that no truth could be as ugly as a hidden lie is simply too noble an idea for life on this earth.
The idea that intention is everything is possibly the ultimate statement of Helium. Intention may be the source of everything but without physical action, it remains unmanifested. The patient’s connection to spirits further illustrates the idea of disembodiment. We cannot stand at the peak of the mountain forever. There must be a time to come down into the valley.
Adapted with permission from the introduction of Jeremy Sherr’s forthcoming series on the noble gases. The first volume, “Helium”, will be published in late 2012 by Saltire Books. “Neon" and "Argon” will be published in 2013. Copyright Saltire Books Limited.
Photos: Wikimedia Commons
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