Philosophy of Homeopathy
By Dr Stuart M. CLOSE, M.D.
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL POINT OF VIEW
Great Personalties. – All great forward movements in religion, science or art originate in the mind of some individual who appears at the psychological moment and announces his mission. His personality and his teaching represent the truth for which he stands.
To a Moses or a Luther, to a Washington or a Lincoln, to a Plato or a Bacon, to a Hippocrates or a Hahnemann, each in his own sphere and period, the world comes and must come for instruction, and leadership.
Always, following the appearance of a great teacher or leader, opponents, detractors, or corruptors spring up and attempt to stay, or destroy, or divert to their own glory the progress of the new movement. Disciples or would – be disciples have always to be on guard against false teaching. Their principal safeguard is in maintaining a sincere and intelligent loyalty to the historic leader whose personality and teachings represent the original truth, and in intellectual and personal fellowship with other followers who maintain the same attitude and relation.
Lesser lights and lesser leaders there must and always will be, to whom, each in his own rank and degree, honor an loyalty are due; but the disciple is never above his master. He only is “The Master” to whom the first great revelation of truth was made and by whom it was first developed and proclaimed; for such epochal men are supremely endowed and specially prepared, usually by many years of seclusion, intense thought and labor. They are raised up at last to do a great work. They stand on the mountain tops of human experience, from whence they have a field of view and a grasp of truth never before attainable. Like Moses they have, as it were, received the “Tables of the Law” direct from the hand of the Almighty.
Homoeopathy, the science and art of therapeutic medication, has a twofold existence – as an institution and in the personnel of its loyal, individual representatives.
These two constituents are pervaded by a common animating spirit, which finds expression respectively in its organizations and literature and in the life and practice of its followers.
Homoeopathy a System. – The fundamental principles of homoeopathy are embodied in a system of doctrines, laws and rules of practice which were first formulated, named and systematically set forth by Hahnemann in his Organon of the Rational Art of Healing. By that, homoeopathy was given a name, an individuality and a character which defines and identifies it for all time.
The practical demonstration of homoeopathy is committed to its personal representatives, whose success will be proportionate to their efficiency. Efficiency in homoeopathy implies and involves native ability, acquired technical proficiency and logical consistency in the application of its principles. The exercise of these qualifications requires honesty, courage, fidelity to a high ideal and a right point of view.
Every problem with which homoeopathy deals, therefore, must be approached and every technical process conducted systematically from a particular and definite mental standpoint. The student or practitioner of homoeopathy must not only know what this point of view is, but he must acquire it and act from it in each case. This might be called the personal side of homoeopathy; for in the last analysis homoeopathy, from the psychological standpoint, is essentially a state of mind existent in the person of its representative. In this sense personality, or the sum of all the essential attributes and qualities of the individual is a condition – precedent to professional success.
Having defined the qualities and attributes that enter into the make – up of the homoeopathician the various practical problems and technical processes of homoeopathy can be taken up and discussed from the point of view already established.
As a prerequisite to a clear understanding of the subject, as well as to the attainment of efficiency in the practical application of its principles, it is assumed that homoeopathy is what it is claimed to be, a complete system of therapeutic medication. As a scientific system it is made up of certain facts, laws, rules and methods or processes, each of which is an integral part of the whole.
Nothing conflicting with its established principles can be added to it, nothing taken away, if it is to stand in its integrity. Once it is determined what these essential elements and principles are, homoeopathy must stand or fall as a whole.
A mutilated homeopathy is a lame and crippled thing, compelled to sustain itself by crutches, splints and braces. An emasculated homoeopathy is an impotent homeopathy, without the virility necessary to maintain or reproduce itself. Some shortsighted, superficial and weak – kneed individuals, actuated by their prejudices, or through their failure to comprehend the subject as a whole, have adopted an emasculated homoeopathy for themselves and attempted to support their crippled eunuch as a candidate for general acceptance. Subjects such as the “life force” the single remedy, potentiation, infinitesimals, the minimum dose, and the totality of the symptoms as a basis for the prescription they have characterized as unessential, “so long as the principle of similia was maintained.” They do not perceive that each of these doctrines is logically drawn from and inseparably connected with the one fundamental doctrine which they profess to accept with the one fundamental doctrine which they profess to accept and apply. It is this which has brought homoeopathy, as an institution, down to a point where its very existence is threatened.
Within its sphere homoeopathy is entirely adequate to meet all its own problems in its own way, when it is practiced in its purity and entirety. But homoeopathy will fail if it is forced outside or beyond its real sphere, or if it is perverted and emasculated. To know the true sphere and limitations of homeopathy is as necessary to practical success as to know its technic and resources.
Mere formal knowledge of the “law of cure” and the technic of prescribing does not mae a homeopathic physician in the true sense of the word. Something more than that is needed. Into that cold and inert body the breath of life must be breathed before it becomes a living soul. Homoeopathy is a spirit as well as a body of rules and principles and the spirit must be incarnated in every true believer and follower. That incarnation takes place when the mind of the neophyte is opened to the philosophical truths which underlie both the method and the principles, and he becomes imbued with the desire and the purpose to make them the ruling influence of his life.
Methods of adapting and applying the principles have changed to some extent as the scope and technic of prescribing have been developed, but homoeopathy is essentially the same to – day that it was a hundred years ago. Individual practitioners, nominally followers of Hahnemann, have drifted away from his teachings and method, and some have attempted to inject into or great upon homoeopathy all sorts of “fads and fancies; ” but the mongrel thing thereby created deceives no one who has derived his knowledge from the fountain head. Homeopathy as set forth by Hahnemann, while not perfect, is complete in all essentials as a system. It is supreme within its legitimate sphere because it is the only method of therapeutic medication which is based upon a fixed and definite law of nature.
The validity of this law has been disputed by the dominant school of medicine ever since it was first promulgated by Hahnemann; but it has never been denied by any one who has complied with all the conditions necessary for a scientific demonstration of its verity. To comply with those conditions in good faith and test the matter is to be convinced.
It is conceivable and probably true that one reason for the rejection of the homeopathic principle is that the principle, as usually stated, has never been fully understood. It is a fact that most, if not all of the attempts (with an exception to be brought forward later) to state the principle have been faulty. Analysis and comparison have not been carried far enough, in most cases, to clearly identify the principle and its relations, and establish homoeopathy in the “circle of the sciences” where it belongs.
The dominant school of medicine has not only denied that the so – called “Homeopathic law” is a law of nature, but denied that there is any general law which governs the relation between drugs and disease and have ceased searching for one. The existing situation has never been better characterized than by Mons. Marchand de Calvi in an eloquent and stirring address to the French Academy of Medicine.
“In medicine,” he said, “there is not, nor has there been for some time, either principle, faith or law. We build a Tower of Babel, or rather we are not so far advanced, for we build nothing; we are in a vast plain where a multitude of people pass backwards and forwards; some carry bricks, others pebbles, others grains of sand, but no one dreams of the cement; the foundations of the edifice are not yet laid, and as to the general plan of the work, it is not even sketched. In other words, medical literature swarms with facts, of which the most part are periodically produced with the most tiresome monotony; these are called observations and clinical facts; a number of laborers consider and reconsider particular questions of pathology or therapeutics – that is called original research. The mass of such labors and facts is enormous; no reader can wade through them – but no one has any general doctrine. The most general doctrine that exists is the doctrine of homoeopathy! This is strange and lamentable; a disgrace to medicine – but – such is the fact.”
Principals and Organizations. – A common mistake, and one of the greatest that can be made, it that of rendering to organizations the spiritual submission that belongs in the highest degree to principles only.
Organizations are formed for the purpose of maintaining and advancing principles, but it often happens that in the stress of building and maintaining the organization the principles are pushed into the background, neglected or forgotten. The man too often becomes the slave of the machine instead of its master. The organization becomes a Frankenstein which destroys its creator. Worse even than the mere neglect or forgetting, is the wilful corruption and perversion of principles which is often the result of the mad struggle for organization prestige, power and position. Moreover, individuals connected with or responsible for the success of the organization are easily infected with the germ of selfish personal ambition. They come to regard their official contract with it as a through ticket on The Limited to the city of their dreams.
Out of these conditions, which is not necessary to illustrate or enlarge upon, arise some of the most serious problems of the world. Organizations – civil, military, medical, political, social, religious and educational – may and often do become corrupt, mercenary, tyrannical; a menace to liberty and progress; enemies to the principles they are supposed to represent and agents of compulsion.
The individual truth – seeker must, therefore, keep his eyes open and walk circumspectly if he would keep in the path of progress, maintain his mental integrity and preserve liberty of thought, speech and action.
It has come to pass that individual liberty is calculated only in percentages now. The increasing pressure of official and institutional compulsion encircles us. The moral compulsion of the “Drive” is but a short remove from the physical compulsion of the “Draft.” Metaphorically, the internment camp, the prison, the dead wall and the firing squad are just beyond.
The world is in a state of war. It s a “War of the Worlds.” The political world, the industrial world, the social world, the religious world, the medical world – organizations all – are torn by war because importance has been attached to organizations that belongs only to principles.
Organizations like men are subject to disease, decay and death. When they become corrupt they die, for corruption is elementary death. Institutions, nations, whole civilizations have died, disappeared and been forgotten until brought to light by the excavations of archaeologists centuries or perhaps millenniums afterwards. But principles never die.
Principles are essential truth, represented by or corresponding to facts. The essential characteristic of truth is its steadfast conformity to law and order. Truth is Life, Mind, Spirit; absolute, infinite and immortal. Organisms in which truth embodies itself are transitory. They change, decay and pass away, but life is continuous. Truth, like the fabled Phoenix, burns itself on the altar and arises from its own ashes.
Homoeopathy, as already pointed out, has a two – fold existence – as an institution or organization and in the individuals who make up its following. The spirit and principles of homoeopathy have never been and never can be solely in the keeping of any institution, for organizations are continually changing and dying.
Individuals unite is small or great societies and work together harmoniously for a time, but not for long. Disagreements arise, they dissolve their original relations and form others; but the work goes on because the Spirit of Truth always draws together those of like minds for the attainment of a common object. At critical periods and in the long run it is always the individual who preserves, passes on and perpetuates the truth.
Upon individuals, therefore, as living embodiments and representatives of the truth, rests a great and solemn responsibility. No man can shift his personal responsibility to an organization. As a creator and member of organizations he does not cease to be an individual trustee, nor should be become slavishly subject to the organization. The creator is greater than the creature. He may work in or by means of an organization, but he may not work for an organization, lest he presently find himself in bondage to a creature which has become corrupt.
It follows that our greatest concern as followers of Hahnemann and representatives of homoeopathy is primarily with individuals – with men and principles rather than with organizations. We will build men into organizations and keep the organizations clean and useful as well as long as we can; but let us be sure that we build principles into men.
Nature puts man first. Truth is not revealed to institutions, but to men. Let us have done with fictions and deal with realities. An organization is a machine; an inanimate, soulless thing; a figment of the imagination; a creature of the law, deriving its existence and seeming vitality only from the individual men who compose it; ceasing to be when their relations are dissolved. Man is a real living, thinking human being, “made in the image ad likeness of God,” an individual embodiment and personification of a portion for the Infinite and Universal Mind, endowed with the ability to exercise creative power within his appointed sphere and destined for immortality. Let him exercise it in liberty, using organizations judiciously but not becoming enslaved by them.
The Philosophy of Homoeopathy rests upon the following general interpretations of the System of Nature which Science universally recognizes as fundamental.
1. The laws and ways of Nature are uniform and harmonious.
2. Effects follow causes in unbroken succession.
3. To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
4. Action and reaction are ceaseless, equivalent and reciprocal.
5. Motion is ceaseless and transformation continuous.
6. Matter is indestructible and infinitely divisible.
7. Force is persistent and indestructible.
8. The quantity of action necessary to effect any change in nature is the least possible.
The following propositions, slightly modified from the original, are drawn from Von Grauvogl’s Text Book of Homoeopathy. (Nuremburg, 1865; London, New York and Chicago, 1870. Trans. by George E. Shipman, M. D.)
The aim of all science is to set up in place of the contingent that which law makes necessary, and to refer every particular to its universal.
These two predicates connect science with things.
We must hold fast intellectually to the useful things which the past has produced. We must gain space in time, but living space. Not by the empiric accumulation of facts perceived (the facts of perception), but by their well weighed appreciation, according to the eternal laws of nature, is their existence secured for all time. Facts which this criterion rejects are worthless scientifically.
Hence in homoeopathy we strive not only to separate the contingency from the event, i. e., to determine the causal succession from what has taken place, but also to become master of that contingency which makes our judgment uncertain. The contingency of our judgment of the facts, arrived at experimentally by the process of analysis, must be removed synthetically by connecting the laws of nature with the facts, so that we may be able to show their interdependence and act accordingly. In this synthesis, or connecting of our perceptions, conducted simultaneously with experimentation, consists the Art of observation.
All conceptions of our inner being, as well as external things, are based primarily upon the perceptions of our senses (including consciousness, or the “inner sense”). But the formation of our ideas, judgments and conclusions must result from determinate, objective laws, inherent in the things themselves and their constitution, and not from caprice.
Every event in the circle of natural phenomena has a conditional necessity, since it can only result from its precedents and depends upon them. This conditional necessity results from the primary unconditional necessity of the fundamental laws of nature and their absolute truth.
Laws of nature are the forms by which the constant course of natural phenomena from given causes and conditions may be expressed.
Laws do not cause the existence of events or phenomena. By virtue of the laws we may explain to ourselves, intellectually, not the existence, but the connection of phenomena, and so come to understand their development and conditions.
We understand phenomena, not by any apparent properties of the phenomena themselves, but intuitive perception or immediate consciousness of the fundamental laws. Such laws as the law of cause and effect, the equivalence and contrariety of action and reaction, the constancy of matter and force, are intuitively perceived to be the ultimate reason of which we can have any knowledge.
Laws of nature, in general, are deductions of experience and observations with regard to the necessary course of events or phenomena from given elements, the ultimate course of which lies beyond physical science in the domain of metaphysics.
That which changes the regular course of states and events, however, results in consequence of causes which may be determined by physical science by considering the fundamental laws of nature.
Every change of state or event has a number of causes, known as primary and secondary causes, or as cause and conditions.
A spark of fire, put into a barrel of powder, is the cause of the explosion that follows. The chemical composition of the constituents of the powder and their mode of combination supply the necessary conditions for explosion to occur.
Every change implies or presupposes something constant, that is, something with at least two opposite tendencies. Chemistry, e. g., rests upon the law of constancy of bodies and forces, the law of chemical affinity and the law of definite proportions or equivalence.
In accordance with the law of constancy of bodies and forces, all bodies remain essentially the same under all circumstances. Chlorine remains chlorine, and hydrogen remains hydrogen always. Only as they are combined according to the laws of chemical affinity, and certain definite proportions, do they change their state and become hydrochloric acid. The cause of the result lies in the art of the chemist. The conditions lie in the specific affinity of these bodies for each other and for other bodies. The effect is to change their two states into one in the form of hydrochloric acid.
The cause of tuberculosis s the tubercle bacillus.
The necessary conditions for (secondary causes of) the action of the bacillus are the peculiar bodily constitution, predisposition, susceptibility and environment of the patient. Without these concomitant conditions or causes, no one would ever have tuberculosis.
Thus, in order to explain by science or accomplish by art a complex result, many laws must be considered, but especially the law of reciprocal action.
All changes in nature are the result of the reciprocal action (action and reaction) of bodies and forces. But here an important distinction must be made between animate and inanimate bodies and forces; between living organisms and machines.
Reciprocal action is mediate and immediate. Within the living organism, bodies and forces act immediately, the one upon the other, by virtue of the living fellowship of all its parts. In a machine they act mediately.
The motion of all parts of a machine depends, at every moment, upon the force of the external cause alone, the machine remaining constantly passive to the action of the force.
The machine cannot supply itself with oil, repair the losses it suffers from rust, friction, etc., nor reproduce itself in whole or in part. It knows no need and feels no necessity for any of these things. The living organism, on the contrary, does know and feel its need and seeks to supply it.
The living organism also receives external substances and their forces into itself, yet they are not the sole causes of its motions, but only for the nourishment of the constantly active parts.
Substances taken into the organism from without remain passive within the organism, while the organism toward them is active. Food does not pass spontaneously into the blood, nor is the blood changed spontaneously into bile or urine, but these things occur by virtue of living, intelligent, reciprocal causes and effects residing and taking place within the organism, according to determinate specific laws. Hence a machine is the complete opposite of an organism.
Science derives its knowledge of Life from a consideration of the facts of observation and experience in connection with the laws which express the form of their necessity, in accordance with which they occur. The facts and the laws stand together with the same objective value.
In considering the succession of two different states of the same living body, such as health and disease, the law of causation teaches that no internal effect can arise without an external cause, and that the effect itself may in turn become a cause of further changes.
The law of vis inertiae teaches that all internal changes of bodies in nature are the results of an external cause, for without this all bodies would remain in the same state in which they were placed. The state of the body must be known before any change in it can be known. The cause or reason of the state of the body, therefore, are the conditions under which it can be changed by any external cause.
In Medical science and especially in therapeutics, rigid discrimination must be made between the two relations of state and changes according to these two laws (causation and vis inertiae ); since the action of the curative agents introduced into the body as external causes, for the purpose of changing a state of disease into a state of health, can only be determined by paying due regard to the conditions of age, sex, constitution, predisposition, etc., as manifested by symptoms or phenomena.
Regard must always be had for the differences which exist between that which is constant and unchangeable in the life of the organism and that which is changeable. The constant and unchangeable are the laws of its specific form, as shown in cells, connective tissue, etc. Forms are transmitted by parents. The changeable are the chemical and physical properties of these constituents of the organism, which are derived from the external world, and the functioning of the organism itself. Pathological form elements must be like the physiological, since the organism can from nothing within itself against its own unchangeable laws. According to the law of specification, every change of form or function in organism in accompanied by a corresponding changed combination of matter. Hence, when we observe any physical phenomena undergoing a change in the organism we know that chemico – vital changes are going on at the same time.
Two things thus constitute disease: – first, the qualities of the organism, which constitute the conditions for the disease; second, the external causes of the disease.
Forms of disease also obey a fixed law of constancy. Entire groups of disease, chronic and acute, and externally the most various, arise from the same morbid cause and form a unit in their succussion, although one form occurs in childhood, another in youth and still another in advanced years. Syphilis and tuberculosis are striking examples.
Instead of seeking the cause and character of a presenting form of disease only in that which is immediate and near at hand, we should seek the more remote causes which have manifested themselves in the sequence of disorders and diseases which have preceded the present form. Upon the adoption of this principle depends the power of prevision and progress, as well as an efficient prophylaxis and therapeutics.
All functioning of the living organism depends upon a constant reciprocal action between the different constituents of the body within itself, and of the organism as a whole with its environment, the external world and its constituents.
According to the laws of causation and vis inertiae, every part of the whole is at the same time active and passive, or in a state of approximate equilibrium of motion or rest. Disease, strictly speaking, is neither an action nor a reaction, but only a new or changed state of the organism caused by the interaction of an external cause with the internal constituents of the organism, resulting in a new form of the whole of a reciprocal action in which cause and effect are ever conjoined.
Physically speaking, forces are properties of substances, or bodies. They may be divided into changeable and unchangeable forces. Only those properties which are specific of bodies under all circumstances, which are necessary and constant, which isolate them perfectly from all other bodies and give each its individuality, can properly be called forces. Such, for example, are the specific gravity of each separate body; the property of a body which determines the constant equivalents of its combination with hydrogen or oxygen, or the specific individual qualities of organic forms.
Any change in bodies produced by an external cause take place only within their changeable forces or properties, as in their volume, density, color, or manner of chemical combination.
The basic or unchangeable forces of matter which are the properties of its masses, are divided into forces of repulsion or attraction. Both may operate at a distance or by contact. Since every action in nature is a reciprocal action between bodies, such a basic force does not belong to the body alone, but belongs to it in the ratio of its relations to other bodies. Here we find that the like repel and the unlike attract each other.
Thus, every whole exists under the conditions of the combinations of its parts creates a dependence of the parts upon each other, and upon the specific form of the whole; and the whole exists in reciprocal relations with other forms in the external world.
Hence, in the organic world, there are no simple bodies, but only the simple, primary substance (the incorporeal life substance itself), of which, in combination with the chemical elements, all living organized bodies are formed. Even living cells are not simple, since physically they are composed of chemical elements, the fundamental forces of which differ according to their form and composition and their reciprocal relation with the life force of the organism.
Within the cells, among their constituent chemical elements, exist the basic forces of attraction and repulsion, acting reciprocally with the inherent life force of the organism, derived from the incorporeal life substance itself.
Physical science has come to regard all matter as a “condensation” of the universal, intangible, interatomic ether, which is thus acknowledged to be a fundamental substance. But physical science cannot account for life and mind or intelligence without acknowledging that life and mind are also substantial entities, having their existence in the being and existence of the one ineffable, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent Supreme Being.
Relations of Science and Art. – Art and science are inseparably bound together. Every art has its foundation in science, and every science finds its expression in art.
Consciously or unconsciously the artist or the craftsman at work is applying principles and laws, formulated and systematized knowledge of which constitutes science.
Exceptionally an artist, by virtue of inherent capacity and genius, may not be aware that he is applying scientific principles in his work. The “Art Instinct,” when powerful, may express itself spontaneously and naturally by force of an internal feeling or native impulse, grasping principles intuitively and subconsciously and developing its own methods of technique through individual experience. But such endowment is rare, and even the greatest natural genius does not reach his highest development until he has awakened to the existence of theories, laws and principles and viewed his work consciously from the scientific standpoint.
When an artist reaches that point of development, philosophy begins to interest him. His eyes are opened and his vision is clear. He now wants things explained. Thenceforth, his field is broadened and his power of expression increases in proportion to his determinate development in that direction.
The scientist on the contrary never, or very rarely, proceeds by instinct. His eyes are open from the beginning. He knows exactly what he wants to do. He works deliberately by established rules and methods, based upon principles deduced from ascertained facts. Reason and logic, rather than feeling and emotion, are his guides from first to last. Not that the scientist may and does not have his moments of inspiration and high emotion as his imagination leaps forward into new fields opened up before him, or some new discovery rewards his studies, investigations and researches; for he certainly does have such moments and the greater the man, the more frequently does he experience them. When the artist becomes a scientist and the scientist becomes an artist they meet on the mountain tops of human experience and share alike in the joys of conscious creation.
Homoeopathy is both an art and a science. The successful homeopathician must be both an artist and a scientist. His work must be both artistic and scientific. Theory and practice must go hand in hand. Technique must be governed by definite principles. Performance must be consistent with profession.
Some knowledge of the principles which are common to all sciences and arts is essential to a correct understanding of the special art and science with which we are concerned as homoeopathicians. Study of the relation of homoeopathy to other arts and sciences has been neglected and the standards as well as the morale of the profession have been lowered in consequence.
Homoeopathy has been regarded too much as a thing apart; a wanderer without friends or relations; a sort of medical Topsy: “Never had no parents – jes’ growed.” The fact is that homeopathy was the logical and legitimate offspring of the Inductive Philosophy and Method of Aristotle and Lord Bacon. It is the highest development of modern therapeutic science and as such stands intimately related to the sciences of Logic, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Psychology and other sciences. The broader and more accurate the knowledge of these relations, the higher will be the respect for an the warmer the enthusiasm in the practice of the Hahnemannian Art.
Fundamental conceptions of matter and motion; energy and force; spirit and life; mind and body; health and disease; cure and recovery and their relations to each other which are embodied in the Organon of Hahnemann and which I shall endeavor to interpret in the light of modern science and philosophy, are not only the profoundest subjects of human thought, but they are an integral part of homoeopathy.
Realization of this fact should around interest. It stimulates the kind of thought and study which develop the scientific spirit. It is the most powerful factor in the creation of that high morale which is so essential to the progress and perpetuation of the science of therapeutic medication. The highest loyalty to principles, consistency in practice and perfection of methods can be attained in no other way.
A carpenter who is content to know his steel square only as a tool by which he can measure or draw a straight line across a board and tell whether the angles of a frame are true, will never become anything more than a mere day laborer. But arouse his interest in the mysterious lines and figures on that wonderful instrument; induct him into the mathematics of the square; teach him it higher uses and the possibilities of his development and progress are almost unlimited.
So the physician who knows only a little rudimentary materia medica and therapeutics in addition to his medical – college – knowledge of general medicine, and is content with that knowledge, will never be anything but a routinist and a medical misfit.
Homoeopathy a Science. – Homoeopathy, or homoeotherapy, is the department of science in general medicine which has for its principal objects the observation and study of the action of remedial agents in health and disease, and the treatment and cure of disease by medication, according to a fixed law or general principle.
Homoeopathy was founded and developed into a scientific system by Samuel Hahnemann (1755 – 1843) under the principles of the Inductive Method of Science as developed by Lord Bacon. Its practice is governed by the principle of Symptom – Similarity, which is the application in medicine of the universal principle of Mutual Action formulated by Sir Issac Newton in his Third Law of Motion: “Action and reaction are equal and opposite.”
Homoeopathy, as a science, rests fundamentally upon four general principles: Similarity, Contrariety, Proportionality and Infinitesimality, reducible to the universal principle of Homoeosis, or Universal Assimilation. (Fincke.)
“Science is Knowledge reduced to law and embodied in system.” “Knowledge of a single fact, not known as related to any other, or of many facts, not known as having any mutual relations or as comprehended under any general law, does not reach the meaning of science.”
“A science in it development is 1. A collection of exactly observed facts; 2. A correlation or generalization of these facts, forming a system; 3. A formulation of these generalizations as laws; 4. It proceeds to some principle or force accounting for these laws; hence, exact knowledge of proximate causes.” (Condensed from The Standard Dictionary.)
Law, in the broadest sense, is the observed order or relation of the facts. It is not required that the cause of the order or relation be known. As mathematicians and astronomers, accustomed to deal with the highest order of facts, are content to accept the law of gravitation without explanation of the cause, so physicians, if there be a law of cure, may accept it without explanation of its cause. But the tendency of modern physical science is toward the more complete generalization, its goal being the discovery of a universal principle which shall connect all physical phenomena.
Specifically, in the scientific sense, a law is the connecting link between two series of phenomena, showing their relation to each other.
“There are two tests of the validity of any law that is claimed to be a natural law, or law of nature.
1. That it is capable of connecting and explaining two series of natural phenomena.
2. That it is in harmony with other known laws.
In optics, for example, we have the phenomena or properties of luminous bodies, and the phenomena of light receiving bodies. These two series of phenomena are connected and explained by the law of the diffusion of light.
In physics the phenomena of the sun, as regards density and volume, are related to the phenomena of the earth by the law of attraction or gravitation.
In chemistry the properties of potassium are related to the properties of sulphuric acid by the law of chemical affinity and definite proportions, in the formation of a new compound, potassium sulphate.” (Abstracted from Dunham, Science of Therapeutics.)
So in Homoeotherapy, we have the phenomena of drugs related to the phenomena of diseases by the law of mutual action, under the principles of similarity, contrariety, proportionality and infinitesimality; reducible again to the principle of Universal Assimilation or Homoeosis.
“Therapeutics is that department of medical science that relates to the treatment of disease and the action of remedial agents on the human organism, both in health and disease.” (Standard Dictionary.)
Since it conforms to every requirement of these general, authoritative definitions of Science, homoeopathy has been defined as The Science of Therapeutics. No other method or system of medical treatment conforms or even claims to conform to all of these fundamental requirements.
But while it can easily be shown that the curative action of any agent whatsoever used in the treatment of disease, mental or physical, conforms to the fundamental principle of Mutual Action, in the narrower or more practical sense homoeopathy must be defined as the science of therapeutic medication, since it commonly uses medicines or drugs alone to effect its purposes.
Homoeopathy is not, strictly speaking, “a system of medicine” as it is often inaccurately called, using the word medicine in its broad general sense. General medicine is made up of a number of distinct sciences, including General Therapeutics, which covers all the therapeutic resources known to man. It makes use of many agencies besides medication for the alleviation of human ills.
Homoeopathy, therefore, is a department of general medicine, like anatomy, physiology and pathology.
Homoeopathy an Experimental Science. – Like chemistry or physics, homoeopathy is established under the principles of the inductive method in science. Considered as a science, it consists of two series of phenomena, independently observed, collected and studies, connected by an underlying law or principle of nature. Its elements are: 1, The phenomena of disease; 2, the phenomena produced by drugs when administered to healthy persons; and 3, the general law of mutual action, otherwise known as Newton’s Third Law of Motion and as the Law of Similars, which connects the two series of phenomena. The phenomena of disease constitute its pathology, the experimentally derived phenomena of drugs, its materia medica and the application of its materia medica under the law its therapeutics.
Experimentally, in the construction of homeopathic materia medica, medicines were administered singly, in various doses, to healthy human beings for the purpose of eliciting, observing, recording and comparing their effects. Comparison shows that the symptoms thus produced by drugs are similar to the symptoms of disease. Any symptom or group of symptoms of disease may be duplicated from the materia media record of drug symptoms.
Experimentally also it has been proven that under certain conditions, to be stated hereafter, medicines cure diseases by virtue of their similarity of symptoms; that is, medicines cure, or remove in the sick, symptoms similar to those which they have the power of producing in the healthy. From this fact of experience was deduced the law of cure and medication, known as the “law of similars,” which is found on examination to be a statement in other words of the general Law of Mutual Action, variously termed the law of equivalence, the law of action and reaction, the law of balance or equivalence, the law of action and reaction, the law of balance or equilibrium, the law of polarity, the law of compensation and Newton’s third law of motion.
Homoeopathy an Art. – Homoeopathy works in perfect harmony with all necessary rational, non – medicinal and mechanical therapeutic agents. Surgery, obstetrics, hygiene, dietetics, sanitary science, chemistry (so far as it is applied in the preparation of medicines and in ejecting and antidoting poisons) and psycho – therapy all find in homoeopathy their congenial and most powerful ally.
1. Homoeopathy is opposed in its constitution and principles to all forms of treatment by direct or physiological medication, and to physio – chemical treatment or treatment based upon chemical theories.
2. Homoeopathy is opposed to the use, under ordinary conditions, of drugs in physiological doses for mere palliative purposes, since its primary object is always the cure or obliteration of disease and complete restoration of health.
3. Homoeopathy is opposed to the methods of vaccine and serum therapy, although it is claimed by many that these methods are based upon the homeopathic principle. It grants that this may be true so far as the underlying principle is concerned, but opposes the method of applying the principle as being a violation of sound, natural principles of medication and productive of serious injury to the living organism.
It has been proven experimentally and clinically that such methods are unnecessary, and that the results claimed by their advocates can be attained more safely, more rapidly and more thoroughly by the administration of the homeopathically indicated medicines in sub – physiological doses, through the natural channels of the body, than by introducing it forcibly by means of the hypodermic needle or in any other way.
4. Homoeopathy is opposed to so – called “pathological prescribing” and to “group treatment” of diseases, by which individual peculiarities are ignored and patients are grouped or classed according to their gross, pathological organic lesions and treated alike. Homoeopathy deals with the individual, not the class. It treats the patient, not a fictitious entity called the disease. Its prescription or selection of medicines is based solely upon individual similarity of symptoms, drug symptoms to disease symptoms, determined by actual comparison in each case.
5. Homoeopathy is opposed to all forms of external, local or topical drug treatment of the external, secondary symptoms of disease, except in surgical cases. It directs its curative agents through the natural channels of the body to the physiological centres of vital action and reaction, which govern all functional activities in the living organism in disease as well as in health.
6. Homoeopathy is opposed to polypharmacy. It depends for all its results upon the dynamical action of single, pure, potentiated medicines, prepared by a special mathematico – mechanical process and administered in minimum doses.
In practice, homoeopathy bases the selection of the curative remedy upon the totality of the symptoms of the individual patient, including a consideration of the ascertainable causes of the disease. For the homeopathic prescriber this constitutes the disease. Speculation as to the inner, essential nature or workings of the drug or the disease does not enter into the process of selecting the remedy. The prescription is not based upon the pathological diagnosis, or the name of the disease, but solely upon the likeness of the symptoms of the patient to the symptoms of some tested drug, determined by actual comparison.
As the experimental work in constructing the homeopathic materia medica has been conducted with single medicines, and as each medicine has its own definite and peculiar kind and sphere of action, scientific accuracy, as well as the law of similars, requires that the treatment of patients be conducted in the same manner. Medicines are never mixed or compounded in homeopathic practice but are given singly.
It has been proven experimentally that the sick organism is peculiarly and even painfully sensitive to the action of the single, similar medicine, and that curative effects are only obtained by sub – physiological doses. Physiological doses, instead of removing the symptoms of the disease, produce by their direct pathogenetic action the characteristic symptom of the drug. If the drug be not a similar the condition of the patient is complicated by the addition of symptoms having no relation to the disease and no cure results. If the drug be a similar are violent reaction of the organism to the unnecessarily large dose increase suffering, exhausts the patient and prolongs his disease, even if he eventually recovers.
These facts led, first, to the progressive reduction of the size of the dose to the smallest effectual curative quantity, and eventually to the discovery and formulation of the law of potentiation and the infinitesimal dose, which is one of the corollaries of the law of similars and a fundamental principle of homoeopathy.
The working principles of homoeopathy, therefore, may be briefly stated as follows:
1. The totality of the symptoms of the patient is the basis of medical treatment.
2. The use of single medicines, the symptoms and sphere of action of which have been predetermined by pure, controlled experiments upon healthy persons.
3. The principle of symptom – similarity as the guide to the choice of the remedy.
4. The minimum dose capable of producing a dynamic or functional reaction. Similia Similibus Curentur; Simplex Simile Minimum.
To read the rest of the article, follow the link-