Potency can seem to be a vexed question to beginners. When Jeremy Sherr started out he used 30c to get a feel for what that potency could actually accomplish. He says: "I was surprised how potent the 30c is and how long it lasts". He has conducted provings with different potencies to document the different dynamics. He says that "the notion that high potencies affect the mentals and low,potencies affect the physicals, is inaccurate".
There is tremendous variation, so I would add: inaccurate ... 'but not completely mistaken'. One of the most important factors is the sensitivity of the patient. Normally, high potencies usually do affect the mentals. Low potencies do affect our mood too - but not quite as profoundly as higher potencies.
Mike Bridger says, "The clearer the indication for the remedy the higher I'm prepared to go". Nowadays we think of a high potency as aggressive and dangerous, but this is a fallacy because the outcome depends entirely on the patient, and the potential for aggravation depends on the physical pathology. The interval between repeats is determined by the disease process itself. If a given potency is working stick to it. When the process reaches a plateau a new potency may be indicated because the action at that potency is exhausted. The idea of giving a series of ascending potencies in a row has the disadvantage that you would not be able to tell which was the most effective one in the series. You wouldn't know how to follow it up.The remedy reaction is really the result of the pathology, vitality and sensitivity of the patient. The dynamic of the remedy must therefore match the dynamic of the disease (Aphorism 16). This means a relatively healthy person who is very dynamic will need a dynamic potency.
It was Sherr who invented the MOPMEC scale to try to quantify the patients dynamic state, in order to match the energy of the remedy to the patient. It is an index comprised of Modalities, Obstacles, Pathology, Mentals, Energy, and Creativity.
Lets consider an example case (score of 10 is healthy)
Modalities ... he is easily startled, lots of fears............ 6
Obstacles .... many (foster parents, abandonment).... 4
Pathology .... no deep organic pathology....................... 8
Mentals ........ pretty severe............................................ 2
Energy ......... very high, but hyper................................ 4
Creativiy ...... pretty dysfunctional................................. 2
Average: 26/6= 4.3.
Where the average is low (here 4.3) a lower potency is given. In another example the Px scored 10 (no pathology) on most points, but had suffered deep grief and susequent loss of motivation. The MOPMEC score worked out to 46/6 - about 7.6; 10M worked wonders.
Does this model hold true in practice? The six parameters are all quite subjective so some practitioners might only emphasise the average of 4 or 5 of these parameters, or even add their own, so there could be some variation, but Sherrs model remains a reasonable starting point. Francis Treuherz noted that patiens with vivid psychotic episodes might have a high MOPMEC average but are still very ill, so a lower potency would be considered, (e.g. 200c). Another exception might be when there is a deep suffering that has been going on for a long time, a higher potency might reach father back in time and also speed up recovery, which can be slower if lower potencies are used.
In chronic illness, where a client may be sensitive or have weaker vitality, a gentler alternative is to give LM potencies. In some cases patients can monitor their own aggravation on a daily basis and have a break if they are too uncomfortable. The same logic, "stop if there is a reaction" can be applied to lower centesimal potencies, e.g. a 30c that has been prescribed once daily for a week.
My own view is that 1M is quite a blunt instrument - its effects are quite global. 10M's and 50M's are like key-hole surgery - you can target a tiny area and make specific changes.
Energy in Homeopathy:
A remedy with a potency of 50M is a dilution equivalent to one drop of mother tincture in all the oceans of the world. This is the point where a large number of people stop and claim that any effect can only be that of a "placebo". The only way round that obstruction is to actually try it and see!
If it works, it raises an interesting series of questions about the nature of awareness. How could an infinitesimal, quantum of energy affect our mind? It would seem to imply that the nature of awarness is closely connected to that quantum level. A further implication is that it is possible that awareness is a manifestation of quanutm energy fields. This appears to be born out by the "Big Mind" experience of Genpo Roshi, by the field of pure "Being" in the Gita, and by the Mahamudra experience of Ken Wilber. There is a similarity in all these states, which can be compared to Homeopathic Hydrogen:
- Delusion, everything is pure energy
- Delusion, things look beautiful
- He is in the presence of God
Mere speculation? Maybe so, but Albert Einstein said, "The only real valuable thing is intuition." He also said, "Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love"!