Homeopathy Papers

Aurum Metallicum


An in-depth discussion of Aurum from Dr. Luc De Schepper’s book, “Discovering Life: Homeopathic Portraits; An In-depth Modern Materia Medica.”

Note: All proving symptoms are in italics

The Cyber Delusion

Aurum foliatum has the Cyber delusion he has neglected his duty and deserves reproach. The essence of this remedy is to be the first, to be the best. The Aurum patient (child or adult) always thinks he does not do enough for other people or for himself (delusion, he has done wrong) to achieve the highest ambition he fosters; he always thinks that he is neglecting something for which he will be reproached; he seems to carry with him this internal restlessness, and it took from him all perseverance and energy. A person of great capacity, such as someone matching the Aurum profile, is likely to have a great task ahead of him but also, assuredly, a more difficult life. One’s crown is also one’s cross. The Aurum person is very serious, studies and works hard and systematically (industrious), and feels the burden of preparing for future performances; people expect much from him, compounding the pressure he puts on himself. For Aurum, who does not merely think how to spend his time but tries to use it to achieve, the important thing is his personality: his moral character, intelligence, and industriousness. Gold is the symbol of perfection, of freedom and immortality, and a person instilled with such a character always strives for the purest ideas and goals, even if it leads to great personal sacrifice. But it can also lead to the highest goal: achieving true happiness, as the happiness we receive from ourselves is defnitely superior to that which we can receive from our surroundings. Aurum is a person who is ring on all cylinders in order to rise to a challenge. He feels a sense of personal mastery over the goal he has set, and the activity is so intrinsically rewarding that, although the task can be difficult, action feels effortless.

Conscientiousness is one of Aurum’s natural inborn qualities and fundamental personality traits. He exemplifies what he holds important; his values infuse his life. Conscientiousness is equal parts industriousness, impulse control and organization. Conscientiousness is also called responsibility. Responsibility and responding have the same root, being derived from the Latin respondere, “to answer.” To be responsible, for Aurum, means to be ready to respond when and where he is needed. Aurum is very invested in his own family, in community, and in the world at large. These investments call for people to be more responsible, and Aurum responds to that call. This is at the root of Aurum’s life and, ultimately, his suffering. Aurum fills his life to the very brim with goal-oriented deeds for mankind, just as one might fill a cup to the very brim with wine. It is a remedy suited to a child or adult who seems to have the fundamental conviction that he is destined to achieve a superior position in life and extraordinary feats, that it is his birthright. He knows he has great qualities and convictions, and he believes in his own ideals (destined to help people, to become a CEO, great filmmaker, great writer, great healer, etc.). Aurum possesses a productive obsession: it is rooted in love, interest, and desire to better our shared circumstances here in this world. Aurum always thinks big! He learns to banish distractions so that he can concentrate on his ultimate goal. Aurum is hardly a person who looks at himself in the mirror and sees a person who might have done this but didn’t, or who loves that but, for some odd reason, took no active interest in it. Without hesitation, he ups the ante and gets obsessed. He prefers grand pursuits to ordinary ones and stands in solidarity with other members of his species who have opted for big thinking and big doing. He cultivates this productive obsession to the point of exhaustion, walking a long arduous journey with dips and peaks. His mantra is: “I am doing this and I will succeed.” He is a vessel of light, and in his presence we are reminded of our own neglected heights; we are embarrassed to be less than we could be. Socrates, Gandhi, Buddha, Mother Theresa, and Nelson Mandela come to mind. Aurum always has a strong sense of purpose. He radiates righteousness and force of will, and his single-minded focus on the larger significance of what he is doing becomes obvious.

Some humans have the rare tendency among the world’s creatures to give to those to whom they are not genetically related. Among those, one recognizes Aurum people who are particularly prone to benevolence and philanthropy, marked by their kindness, focus, intensity, and great inner strength. Even when the sacrifice is so great that they risk their very lives, they believe the rewards of giving outweigh its consequences, staking their lives upon their values. Ordinary riches can be stolen from a man, but the real riches in the treasure house of Aurum’s soul cannot be taken from him. Aurum is living proof of one of the paradoxes of happiness: man needs more than pleasure to live the best possible life. The broader definition of good living blends deep satisfaction and a profound connection to others through empathy and unconditional service, a rich, full, and meaningful joy. Compassion, altruism, wisdom, insight—sometimes only the trials of adversity can foster these qualities, as is the case for Aurum. These ideals often lead to isolation and even mockery by his contemporaries; he is often more appreciated much later, even after his death. But for Aurum it does not matter, as long as he realizes the nobility of the soul that is within him. A well-balanced Aurum person is in general very productive and animates whatever he touches (the proverbial meaning of “everything he touches turns to gold”). He is a person who carries out the responsibilities he himself has taken on: he is a person free of fear, even in the face of death threats or imprisonment. He might use his wealth to undertake philanthropic enterprises, contributing to the general good of his fellow men.

The person in an Aurum state is generally closed (introvert), refined, and highly disciplined and ambitious. Because of their serious-mindedness and ambition (serious, earnest), such people can lose their sense of lightness about life; it is as if a constant background of sad music has been playing in accompaniment to the events in their life. Aurum children are usually more adult than their friends and choose their friends very carefully. In fact, usually they have few friends, and are often busy by themselves, wanting to be left alone but bullied in school. The Aurum child is very intellectual, precocious, and too serious for his own good. The reaction of the outside world to a joyous child is joyous; the reaction to a serious child is serious, and Aurum does perceive the difference; this doesn’t protect him, though, as he, driven by his CD, cannot change his character. He has a strong belief in his own ego, but his only fear is of failure (delusion, everything will fail; delusion; he cannot succeed and does everything wrong), this can lead to a fixed idea of not being appreciated and a forsaken feeling, a sense of loneliness (delusion, he has lost the affection of his friends and the delusion, that his friends have lost all confidence in him). Especially in American culture, sports stars are much more valued in school than academic stars, who are often dismissed as “nerds.” This can cause self-condemnation (reproaches himself), a constant looking into self, and a deep depression in the Aurum personality, who goes so far as to think that no one out in the world understands him or wants to connect to him (delusion, he is unfit for this world). Aurum can victimize himself by telling himself that he has not achieved enough, that he has not put out enough effort, and that he has let down his friends. Aurum has at the end of his road a negative inflation, which is a state of feeling too bad rather than too good. He feels that he is in no way good enough for this world, that he is always at fault or always wrong. He is, therefore, oversensitive to criticism, both real and imagined. He sits still, wrapped in deep, sad thoughts and notices nothing and broods about whether people appreciate him, which of course only intensifies the fixed idea. Aurum’s perfectionism and conscientiousness create a harsh internal environment as they fail to teach Aurum how to accept his inevitable limitations. He is always on the defensive and constantly feels attacked. Any statement or fact is interpreted as criticism; any obstacle, any difficulty, any relationship problem proves that he is no good, that he is a failure: delusion, everything will fail; delusion, she is lost; delusion, does nothing right. There is a constant threat that eventually all roads lead to depression, melancholy, tears, and withdrawal, to the point of even suicidal moods (imagines to see obstacles in his way everywhere, occasioned partly by contrary fate, partly by himself; makes him feel desponding).

But when in balance, the Aurum person is a true individual; most of the great liberating deeds in world history originate from a leading personality like Aurum, never from the masses. Becoming an individual is reaching the gold in life; it is an act of high courage, a supreme realization and the achievement of the greatest possible freedom one can realize. It also means paying a steep price, as isolation from the unconscious masses is inevitable (forsaken; delusion, he is unfit for this world). The battle to become an individual is, therefore, not a particularly popular undertaking, but people like Aurum have embarked on this path of liberation from childhood on. When keeping his composure and equilibrium, Aurum represents the seeds of the tree of humanity. Rather than following the collective beaten track, he urges forward in the narrow path leading to the unknown. What drives such people from a young age? It is an inexplicable vocation, an irrational factor, a need to be different from the herds. Aurum is called upon by an inner voice and cannot resist his fate and destination: it is a mandate he must obey.

No doubt, Aurum unknowingly and involuntarily becomes a leader. In his ascent to power, he will become a personality; he can, however, also succumb (the negative syphilitic side) to the increasing load of responsibility, expressed by his numerous above mentioned delusions, as he progresses in life confronted by many obstructions and challenges. But at least Aurum has the opportunity to realize life’s meaning, which is becoming a personality. Most people fail in this mission, but Nature is merciful and never puts the question “Did you become an individual?” in people’s minds. And so it goes: where no one asks, no one needs to answer. In their search for gold, the alchemists discovered other things—medicines, gunpowder, the laws of Nature. The balanced Aurum is the true alchemist of the Materia Medica, one who never ceases to search for new ways to improve the conditions of his fellow men while finding optimum happiness in doing it.


Financial Loss

As exemplary as an Aurum person is, he is not always necessarily a spiritual person, one who is not interested in amassing money and material goods. For some Aurum types (a minority) money plays an important role as their whole life is focused on one single goal: amassing riches! Stockbrokers on Wall Street are a perfect example. Margaret Tyler, who lived through the world’s greatest financial crisis, wrote, “Some of us could tell tale after tale of patients, who, reduced to despair by anxiety, threatened suicide and yet were rapidly restored to life, to hope, to renewed effort by a few doses of homeopathic gold.”Margaret Tyler, Homeopathic Drug Pictures (New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers, 1996. A common Aurum causality and pathology is depression due to financial loss in the family or business failure (stock market losses of ’87—brokers committed suicide by jumping from the window; loss of home or property, loss of job especially of the father). Financial loss in the family also can be accounted for as the #1 stress factor for the pregnant woman who is overwhelmed by the loss of security for herself and the unborn fetus. For the Aurum person himself, the thought of disgrace, of falling from the throne, is unbearable. He tends to put all his eggs in one basket, and when he loses his financial independence, he takes stock of the balance of his life. Knowing he cannot make up for his loss because of older age or a bad economy, if this is the case, he begins to have suicidal thoughts. If the pregnant mother has suffered such a mishap, the child can be born in an Aurum state through mystical participation. Parents’ unemployment, pay cuts, or reduced hours yank many children out of their comfortable cocoons as they are forced to deal with material downgrades, moves, and parents in turmoil. Economic recession can bring a sense of siege, and the collective emotional tone of the family, even of the world, seems to revolve around it. Stigma can also be caused later when an excellent teenage student, because of family bankruptcy, must transfer to a lower-quality school or cannot attend the college of his dreams. Some have to let go of ambitions; I knew of a tennis prodigy who had to give up his dream of becoming a professional tennis player when his father lost his job and, at fourteen, it became the boy’s responsibility to augment the family’s meager income. Adolescents should learn in a gradual process to become more independent, but if it happens all of a sudden, as they see a parent’s loss of status and sense of identity crumbling, the teen may feel deeply disappointed and frustrated.

In Aurum’s case, a parent’s loss of fortune and position, which often, under the guise of “protecting” the child, has gathered under cover of darkness hidden from the child, reveals itself all at once. Such a scary moment rattles the child’s belief about basic things: “Am I safe? Will I have a roof over my head? Will there be enough food?” For this child it no longer seems possible to avoid failing by being conscientious and industrious—that is the formula his parents and their parents took to the bank. Such disappointment and humiliation (mortification) can lead to the most severe of the depressive states with thoughts of suicide because of Aurum’s competitive and ambitious nature. It is also called ailments from wounded honor: Aurum above all other people has fear of failure because he thinks this will cause him to lose the respect and love of others (mortification; delusion, has lost the affection of friends).

Loss of a Longtime Partner

Sometimes, it occurs that one spouse dies suddenly and, a few hours later, the other one is admitted to the emergency room, losing consciousness after suffering from intense chest pain along with sweating, nausea, and vomiting. Such cases have long puzzled allopathic physicians but have been understood in TCM and homeopathy for centuries. Dying from a broken heart, the cost of grief and loss, is not just a saying; it is a real physical occurrence! It is very common in older people who have had a long and happy marriage together that, when one partner dies, the other follows in death a few months later (often seen in nursing homes, ailments from grief). The death of a longtime partner is enormously painful. Aurum, in the depression following such a loss, thinks that the sun and light (his wife, his lover, spouse, or only friend) have completely faded from his life, that there is no hope for him; he even believes he will be lost in the afterlife (doubtful of souls welfare; despair of religious salvation). Such a loss of psychic balance occurs because he has lost a loved one around whom his life revolved, and now Aurum wonders whether his own life still has meaning. Aurum seems unable to take the blow of fate, and he is unable to strengthen his soul, finding himself with no moral reserves left. This is the often case for a person whose unconscious life is completely fed by the unconscious of another. Fed through the soul of his partner, Aurum remains like an infant in the mother’s womb, drawing sustenance through the psychic umbilical cord. If this is suddenly snapped, it is as disastrous to the older person as it is to the newborn. When the unconscious is suddenly deprived of its emotional food, there may ensue a feeling of being utterly lost and cut off from life, a form of hopeless grief.

For the Aurum child, having very few friends, a “longtime” partner takes on another meaning when a particularly meaningful friend leaves him. It is deception causing grief and mortification and always considered the loss of a longtime partner even if he has known his friend only for a short time. When he starts a friendship, Aurum (at any age) is convinced it will last a lifetime! The serious Aurum adolescent dreams of ideal love at a very young age and takes any relationship very seriously: the first partner is his soul-mate. Even being lightly teased by this partner mortally injures his soul (he is easily offended and takes everything in hard part). Such emotional vulnerability can even lead desire to avenge against those who leave him (deception causes grief and mortification), and after an unsuccessful suicidal attempt, he will make sure to make his ex-partner feel guilty. He might even start the relationship again and break it off after a short time: having the last word is important for the Aurum person (hatred and revenge of persons who had offended him)!

Ailments from Retirement

When Aurum retires (especially if he has had an important function as a CEO or a general) he might lose all purpose; he thinks no one cares about him anymore, no one appreciates him anymore. This sudden “unemployment” leads to a sudden loss of inner structure to the organization of the mind which accompanies the conviction that life is now meaningless, leading to an early psycho-physical deterioration. All of a sudden, in the mind of the retired person, old age emerges very rapidly. Homeopathic Aurum will abolish the depression of such a person in an Aurum state who actually was more interested in having than in being, a rather unbalanced and pseudo-Aurum, one who has lost the opportunity of his life as he focused on materialism, power, recognition, fame, and being served rather than on serving others, being humble, and spreading his good will as a quasi-incognito person. So many gates open at the time of retirement. The true Aurum, upon retiring, has a chance to live, to be alive, to make living his new business; it has nothing to do with “killing” time. He also has the time to seriously examine spiritual and religious problems and to investigate the real meaning of life as well as the inevitable question of death, something we should not run away from. The balanced Aurum, the one that remains in the psoric miasmatic state, can do so, but the Aurum personality in the syphilitic phase has lost the capacity to be productive and active in a more spiritual way, as opposed to being merely busy. He must find new ways of being interested in life. “Interested” comes from the Latin inter-esse, “to be in,” which is to be able to leave the narrow confinement of one’s ego and to reach out to that which is in front of him, be it a child, a bird in the yard, or a growing flower; one must become interested in new ideas and, above all, remain interested in those insights that come from introspection in one’s shadow side. This is an opportunity for any person to get rid of the professional persona, of the need to be pleasant in order to please a client or patient. Why not at least know that one can be now himself, that one can live more than ever according to his true character?


A common form of disappointment is seen in ailments from failed ambition in work, in business, or at school: the Aurum person wants to be number one, the top dog. When he discovers that he can’t be number one, it will come to the point that he refuses to go to school; when he thinks he can’t get a perfect score, he may refuse to take the test. He suffers therefore from ailments from emotional excitement (stress). The Aurum adolescent can also be disappointed in society and become a punk or an anarchist. He often dresses in black, as if wanting to hide the fact that he represents the color gold. In dreams, the color black stands for the unconscious, the dark unacceptable passions not yet integrated into the conscious, as well as for withdrawal, contrition and regret.

Ailments from a Terminal or Serious Disease

Depressive disorders are naturally seen quite frequently in people suffering from a painful or terminal disease such as cancer (classic breast, lung and prostate cancer spread to the bones), renal failure, a congenital heart defect, or leukemia. There can be despair with the pain, thinking everything is lost. Death is near! There is no better remedy than Aurum for this situation, as Aurum even abolishes the pain in the bones. However, mental suffering, as covered in some of the previous causalities, often makes man indifferent to physical suffering; it is precisely this that makes suicide easier, since the physical pain loses its importance in those who are suffering from such deep morbid depression and who are tormented by excessive amounts of mental suffering. Indeed, it is not pleasure but freedom from pain, physical and emotional, together with an absence of boredom that Aurum will aim for.

Compensations and Consequences Industriousness

The balanced Aurum dares to be himself as he is not interested in what he gets in return or what he can keep (the opposite of Nux-v). For Aurum, the truth is still sacred, and no energy is spent in repressing it. He is a productive person that animates whatever he touches. Love and labor for him are inseparable. He loves that for which he labors and labors for that which he loves. For Aurum at this stage, the energy of hard work is accompanied by vibrancy and a sense of pleasure, purpose and passion. His drive is the engine to his accomplishments. He is a man who expresses humility and is humble and therefore those who listen to him will understand what humility is. He responds to his fellow man because he feels responsible (conscientious). What happens to others can happen to him: humanity is not outside, but within him. For Aurum, conscientiousness means being prepared and organized, operating independently regardless of others’ opinions. It means that he does what he is supposed to do and sticks with it.

But Aurum is egged on by an inner voice that encourages him to take this industriousness to new and often Herculean heights. In his beginning phase, Aurum shows more of the psoric character: always thinking he does not do enough for other people; he always thinks that he is neglecting something for which he will be reproached; he seems to carry with him this internal restlessness, and it took from him all perseverance and energy. Aurum will initially even persist in a task even when there is no good reason to do so and “tries too hard,” pouring all his efforts into one approach. Aurum at this stage should be told that in order to lead a full human life, it is perfectly all right to relax from time to time and to focus upon the trivial and superficial parts of life. But Aurum beats herself up over everything and holds herself to a very high standard. Some seem to have the fundamental conviction, even from a young age, that they are destined to achieve a superior position in life. “I always believed in giving more to people than they expected from me” is one of their sayings. With serious intent, Aurum accepts the task of being a leader of humanity, showing self-sacrifice in the course of obtaining his goal. Aurum remains de ant because he has something noble and great to create. Although he may sooner or later be assailed by those forces within his own depths, Aurum is not made for everyday routine.

This child attempts to do everything intensely and perfectly in order to receive recognition as he realizes he is different and superior to others. It leads to restlessness on the mental and physical plane: he shows restless and hurried impulses, to bodily and mental activity: he cannot work fast enough as to satisfy himself. He is driven to constant activity, and is sorry for his inaction. He desires to be active, to move about. He cannot do things fast enough. The child, convinced that he deserves the love and respect of others since he is the best, also expects these; unfortunately, he always thinks he has not done enough to excel: he should have studied more, he should not have wasted his time with a friend; he gets very upset about the smallest mistake he makes in his homework and can start weeping from despair about it. He can grieve over such disappointment for hours. It looks like the Aurum child sets himself up for failure because of all the difficulties he sees in his way as he is trying to be perfect, to receive the highest score in his class (he is discontent with all conditions; he thinks that he everywhere finds an impediment, caused now by an opposing fate, then again by himself). This child is far too hard on himself (very conscientious), pushed by an inner command to succeed. As we can see, the Aurum personality goes to great lengths to be industrious and conscientious; however, because of his own often unreasonable expectations (overly organized, meticulous, pleasing everyone) and to his great despair, he often fails, which can undermine his self-confidence (want of self-confidence, and thinks others have none in him, which makes him unhappy).

Sensitivity to Criticism

The Aurum person is initially strong on the mental and physical plane but weak and fragile on the emotional plane. The Aurum state is a house of cards ready to fold upon the slightest contradiction. Obviously, when one tries as hard in life as the Aurum person does, he expects to be respected, understood, and not criticized. We therefore understand his reaction to criticism: He is excessively disposed to take offense; even the least thing seeming offensive to him, and affects him deeply and causes resentment. The least contradiction excites him to the greatest anger and he becomes choleric and quarrelsome. He is extremely affected and provoked by the least circumstances, which had the appearance of hurting his feelings; and suffers therefore from ailments from contradiction. During the interview this patient might be open enough to speak his mind about some things that seem to irritate him quite a bit, but being told not to get upset gets him very angry. This anger has been held in for a long time, so when it is unleashed it is very strong, surprising everyone around him since this person or child has always been known to be obedient and perfect, always doing things for others and never giving anyone trouble: “This cannot be the child I know,” exclaims the mother. True to his intense and passionate character, there is violence and even malicious- ness in Aurum’s anger: passionate and violent; he trembles when he cannot give way to his anger; he feels hateful and quarrelsome and he becomes angry at absent persons while thinking of them. He feels he suffers constant vexation and torment. The Aurum personality can therefore change from an introverted, hard-working person to quite an angry and vengeful individual. This often leads to feelings of guilt. To his despair, the bright, precious gold has now turned into a cold and hard ordinary metal. Physical turbulence accompanies this sudden tempest: he shows excessive anguish with palpitations of the heart, as well as weariness in all limbs and sleepiness. e anguish can drive him from place to place, so that he cannot remain in one place.


About the author

Luc De Schepper

Luc De Schepper

Luc De Schepper, M.D., Ph.D., Lic.Ac., C.Hom., is a licensed physician and acupuncturist in Europe (since 1971) and the US. (since 1982). He studied and practiced homeopathy extensively for many years, wrote 15 textbooks of homeopathy, alternative medicine and acupuncture and has the largest school of homeopathy in the US. He spends part of his time helping the poor in South Africa, Kenya and Sri Lanka and teaches all around the world, lately bringing homeopathy to China. For more information visit www.drluc.com

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