The Laws of Similars

The Trojan horse revisited


The Trojan War was fought between the Greeks and the Trojans during the mid-1200’s B.C. According to Homer in his epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey, Helen, the wife of the king of Sparta, fled to Troy, with Paris, the son of the Trojan king. The Greeks organized an army to attack Troy and bring Helen back to Greece. The Greek army laid siege to Troy for 10 years and could not conquer the city. The famous and clever general, Odysseus, devised an ingenious plan that led to the defeat of Troy. He built a huge wooden horse, which has become known as the Trojan Horse, and placed it outside the walls of Troy. Odysseus and a few other Greek warriors hid inside of the horse while the rest of the Greek army sailed away.

Meanwhile, a Greek prisoner, inside the walls, persuaded the Trojans that the horse was sacred and would bring the protection of the gods. The Trojans pulled the horse into Troy. That night they fell deep asleep after celebrating their apparent victory. Odysseus and his warriors then crept out of the horse and opened wide the city gates for the rest of their warriors, who had secretly returned from a nearby island. The Greeks then slaughtered the Trojans and sacked and burned Troy.

Ironically, in modern times the medical research establishment uses the same war-like model, for example, in its “fight against cancer” and in its slogan “cancer can be beaten”. They also refer to “targeting” the cancer cells and destroying them from within. Very little attention or funding is directed towards the concepts and techniques of prevention, attitudinal healing, societal and/or emotional support systems and more benign and non-intrusive methods of early treatment. Most of the attention is focussed at the output or the curative end of the spectrum rather than at the input or the preventative end of the spectrum.

In my counselling and hypnotherapy practice I have discovered an imaging technique of wholistic healing that psychically “grafts” a peaceful and non-violent re-solution onto the Trojan Horse myth. This technique is analogous to the Law of Similars from the field of Homeopathy.

According to the Law of Similars, introducing a highly diluted portion of the original source of illness into the centre of the illness can cause healing. This minute portion is called an anti-dote. I ask my clients to imagine Odysseus acting as a mediator, or anti-dote. Instead of killing off the Trojan “black army”, he instructs his Greek “white army” to surround rather than kill the sentries, and offer them the option of a “peaceful surrender”. I point out to my client that the choice about which army is black and which is white is arbitrary. Analogously, it is urgently important for a client in therapy to accept that, when he or she is challenged by a perceived enemy, the enemy is almost certainly their own self. Thus, once one gets inside the “camp of the enemy”, which is oneself, it is no longer necessary to kill off the challenger…oneself. One can literally apply self-love from one part of the self to another. In the analogy, Odysseus would offer the population of Troy assimilation rather than annihilation.

One of the most challenging aspects of therapy is sharing with a client that ” if it happening to them, then it is about them”. The client generally wants desparately to dis-identify with any response-ability for any of their undesirable traits or circumstances. I ask them if they ” would be willing to” entertain the possibility that we might be at the entrance to “a gold mine of information” about them. With their permission I shine the light into the old gold mine and gently invite them to explore the underground shafts and tunnels to see if we can find any veins of gold missed by earlier prospectors. Sometimes we strike a healing bonanza.

My fervent hope is that this technique will work for you, if and when all other previous approaches have failed. Good luck.

Perhaps we must now change the expression “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.” to “Welcome Greeks bearing gifts.”