ANALYSIS OF THE ORGANON
The work consists of an Introduction of about fifty pages and a text of more than twice that amount.
The introduction of about fifty pages and a text of more than twice that amount.
The Introduction comprises:-
1.A survey of the medical treatment of the time.
2.Examples of homeopathic cures from previous writers.
3.The text may be divided into two parts; the first (comprising the first two aphorisms quoted already) sets forth what the physician light to be, and what he cough to do. The remaining 292 deal with what he ought to know, and how he ought to set about achieving his object.
But I will summarise it a little more particularly.
1. THE DOCTOR’S RAISON D’ETRE AND THE NATURE OF DISEASE AND MEDICINAL ACTION
Aphorisms i. and ii. deal with the doctor’s aim and mission.
Nos. iii. and iv. tell what he must investigate.
No.v. bespeaks attention to exciting and fundamental causes.
Aphorisms vi-viii. set forth the importance of the totality of the symptoms in any case as constituting the disease-the thing to the dealt with and done away with. This, in opposition to those who search for the hypothetical hidden cause of disease, and aim at getting rid of that.
Nos.ix-xv,.maintain that disease is of a spirit-like “dynamic” nature, consisting in a derangement of the vital force which can only make itself known through symptoms.
Nose. xvi-xxi. show that medicines, in order to meet this condition, must be themselves dynamic.
Nos.xxii. and xxiii. discuss the antipathic use of drugs.
Nos xxiv. and xxv. Hahnemann enunciates the law of homeopathic action; and in the two following (xxvii.,.xxix.) he attempts to explain the operation of medicines in accordances, whilst attaching no vitals importance to his explanation of the law, is perfectly decided as to the law itself.
2. SUSCEPTIBILITY OF THE ORGANISM TO DISEASE ACTION AND TO MEDICINAL ACTION
Hahnemann next (xxx-xxxiii) compares the susceptibility of the human body to drug diseases with its susceptibility to natural diseases; and then (xxxiv-xlix.) he the body at the same time, and shows (l.iii) that the diseases which he compares elaborately_ as in the case of natural diseases, is it only the homeopathic method which really effects cures.
3. ACUTE AND CHRONIC DISEASES; HOMEOPATHIC AGGRAVATION; REGIMEN AND DIET; PHARMACY; ANIMAL MAGNETISM.
We now come (Ixxxviii)( to a new branch of his subject-a survey of diseases, and his distinction between acute diseases and chronic; then (lxxxiv-civ) to the investigation of diseases for which he gives the most precise instructions; then (cv-cxlvii) to the investigation of the actions of drugs, rules for provably effected. After an account (cxlix) of the difference of time required for the cure of acute and chronic diseases, and further rules fro selecting and administering the homeopathic remedy (cl-clvi) we come to the explanation of the homeopathic aggravation of disease (clvii-clxi). Rules for using remedies in various types of diseases take up clxii-ccli. In cclii-cclvi. he gives the signs of commencing improvement. The two following (cclvii., cclvii) utter warning against drug favouritism. Regimen and diet occupy cclix. to cclixii. In cclxiv. to cclxxi,. he deals with the selection of plants and other substances, and the preparation of medicines therefrom for homeopathic use; in cclxxio-cclxxiv. he urges the necessity of using only one simple single medicine for a patient at one time. the subject of dose and dynamisation is dealt with in cclxxv- cclxxxvii. The next four (cclxxxviii-ccxvii) tell which parts of the body are more or less susceptible to the influence of drugs, with a note on administration by olfaction. Lastly (ccxciii.,, ccxciv.), he defines the place of animal magnetism.
From this rapid sketch of the contents of the volume you will be able to see that for scope, profundity, originality, and and practicability, the world has never seen the like. And I am not going to make any qualification in this estimate and sat “compared with all that has come after. There is absolutely nothing to compare with it. The little systems of other men have had their day, and ceased to be: Hahnemann;’s is built on eternal foundations.
We will now proceed to look more particularly at a few passages First, we will turn to the Introduction. In a previous lecture (*The Peculiar Features of the Homeopathic Materia Medica. Tract 34 of the Homeopathic League Series.*) I have referred to the essay on a New Principle, which contained, as I endeavored to show, the germ of the Organon and Materia Medica both. In this essay Hahnemann formulates the homeopathic principle thus:-
Every powerful medicinal substance produces in the human body a kind of peculiar disease; the more powerful the medicine the more peculiar, marked, and violent the disease.
We should imitate nature, which sometimes cures a chronic diseases by superadding another and employ in the disease we wish to cure that medicines which is able to produce another very similar artificial disease, and the former will be cured, similia similibus.
We might imagine from this that Hahnemann was a great stickler for the vis medicatrix nature, and for blindly following the efforts of the organism to rid itself of diseases. But Hahnemann was no blind follower of anything or anybody. He hollowed nature with his eyes open.