Cure & Recovery

Natural recoveries following treatment consisting of mere palliation of symptoms should not be mistaken for cures nor falsely paraded as such. A Cure is Always a Result of Art and is Never Brought About by Nature….

The Recall of the Medical Profession.- The advent of homoeopathy in the world opened a new era in medicine and gave new meaning to the word “Cure.” In the Organon of Medicine, Hahnemann, in military parlance, “sounded the recall” to all physicians in the field and laid before them a new plan of campaign and a new method of attack upon the enemy forces of disease. For the first time in history it then became possible to treat diseases under scientific principles and perform true cures by medication.

The New Ideal.- Hahnemann contemplated the entire field of medicine from the standpoint of an ideal and efficient therapeutics. In the first paragraph of the Organon he penetrated directly to the heart of the matter and declared that the “physician’s high and only mission is to restore the sick to health- to cure.”

Here Hahnemann took his stand. From this point he viewed his field. By this standard he measured all physicians, all medical theories, methods and systems and he desired and demanded the same measurement for himself and his own method. He asked but one question, applied but one test, *Do they cure the sick? Experience and observation of the men and methods of his day showed clearly that they did not cure. In the light of a vast and comprehensive knowledge and a bitterly disappointing personal experience, he pronounced the medicine of his day a failure and set about its reformation.

Cure was not then, as it has since become in the dominant school of medicine, an obsolete term. Physicians still talked and wrote of “cures,” but vainly sought to find them. “The Art of Healing” or “The Healing Art” were familiar phrases, but the thing itself, like a will-o’-the-wisp, eluded them-then as it has ever since.

In the second paragraph of the Organon, Hahnemann gives, for the first time in medical history, an adequate and satisfying definition of the ideal expressed in the world “Cure.” The highest ideal of a cure is rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of health, or removal and annihilation of the disease in its whole extent, in the shortest, most reliable and most harmless way, *on easily comprehensible principles.”

Principles, not Precedents.- In those last four words lies the main point of the whole matter. Cure is dependent, not upon precedent, opinion or speculation but upon the application of *Principles; principles, moreover, that are “easily comprehensible.” The only principles that are easily comprehensible are principles that *are true. The only principles that are true are principles logically deduced from facts – *all the facts that belong to the field of research involved. Simplicity – comprehensibility – is the highest criterion of Truth. The greatest truths are always simple.

Medicine in general and therapeutics in particular are authoritatively classified among the Arts.

From time immemorial the practice of medicine has been called “The Art of Healing,” hence, a cure is a product of art. Let us consider what is meant by Art.

Art Defined.- Art is practice *guided by correct principles in the use of means for the attainment of a desired end.

An artist is one who is skilled in applying knowledge or ability to the accomplishment of a concrete purpose.

Psychologically, art is the superior work of reason and intelligence, actuated by a sense of beauty and the “eternal fitness of things”

Art transcends nature. It represents the victory of mind over matter, of man over nature. The Artist can take a hint from nature and devise some quicker or better way of accomplishing certain purposes; as when the homoeopathic artist takes the crude materials that nature provides and adapts them directly to therapeutic ends by potentiation, rendering them directly to therapeutic ends by potentiation, rendering them harmless, more active, more potent, more assimilable and hence more efficient.

Art not Imitation of Nature.- Art is not mere servile imitation of nature, nor of nature’s processes, although such base imitations are constantly being foisted upon the medical profession and the public in the name of art or science.

Hahnemann says: “The vital force, capable only of acting in harmony with the physical arrangement of our organism, and without reason, insight or reflection, was not given to us that we should regard it as the best guide in the cure of disease. What man of sense would undertake to *imitate nature in her endeavors of coming to the rescue…. No, the true healing art is that *intellectual office incumbent on *the higher human mind and *free powers of thought, discriminating and deciding *according to cause.”

To illustrate: Many examples of the working of the homoeopathic principle may be found in nature: The happy but unexpected results of accidental experiences, such as relief from rubbing a bruise, applying snow to a frozen ear, or radiant heat to a burned finger; the instinctive actions of sick or injured animals, as when they eat grass or leaves to produce vomiting when they are nauseated, or lick the secretions from their own wounds or sores.

If a homoeopathic artist desired to profit by the observation that a dog had apparently cured himself by licking the pus from his own sores, or that a human victim of septicaemia had recovered after accidentally or intentionally ingesting a portion of his own morbid secretions, he would not think of imitating these procedures. Desiring to ascertain the value of “autogenous pus” as a possible remedy, he would first submit the morbid product to the recognized scientific process of modification by mechanical potentiation, according to the method of Hahnemann and carry it to a point where there could be no question of the non-existence of toxic or septic qualities.

Having thus removed the obnoxious qualities of the substance and raised it form the physical to the dynamical plane, he would next submit it to the test of proving upon healthy persons; or, if he chose to approach the problem first from the clinical side he would administer doses of the potentiated substance to the person from whom it was taken and observe results, checking them up later by the results of a proving.

To illustrate: Venomous reptiles and insects inject their poison by puncturing the skin and obtain quick and positive results. This suggests but not justify the use of the hypodermic needle for therapeutic purposes, than which no more pernicious violation of the principles of true medical art was ever devised.

The use of the hypodermic needle for therapeutic purposes is merely a slavish imitation of nature, and of nature in her most malignant moods. The avowed object of the procedure is to get “quick” and “positive” results, but like many other questionable medical expedients, it is a violation of the principles of the healing art and an evil to be combated by every homoeopathician.

If every hypodermic needle in existence were destroyed it would still be possible to cure or relieve every curable disease quickly and safely, by means of the appropriate medicine administered by the natural channels.

Imitation of nature is a paltry substitute for art. Whatever may be the outcome in the long run and final accounting, nature, temporarily at least, works irrationally, blindly, painfully and wastefully; as when she creates a million spawn to secure a dozen fish; or suppurates and eye away in the effort to remove a splinter from the cornea. Undoubtedly law underlies all such efforts, but it is a law violated, thwarted or hampered in its operations by adverse conditions. Art thereupon steps in, removes obstacles, quiets disturbance, improves conditions and accomplishes results *with the least expenditure of force, by means perhaps similar, but always superior to those used by nature.

Cure is never accomplished by methods which are but a mere imitation of nature or nature’s processes. Recoveries, only, result from such methods. Frequently great injury is inflicted upon the patient by the use of such methods, because many of nature’s processes cannot be successfully imitated by man. There is always something which eludes us in our attempt to grasp nature’s deeper secrets.

Distinction Between Cure and Recovery.- The favorable outcome of medical treatment may be either a *cure or a recovery. To realize the ideal of cure, it is necessary to know the exact meaning of these terms and to be able to discriminate between them.

Failure to discriminate between cure and recovery engenders confusion of thought and leads to pernicious practices. The terms are not synonymous. Natural recoveries following treatment consisting of mere palliation of symptoms should not be mistaken for cures nor falsely paraded as such. In either case, a false standard is set up, injustice is done to the ideal of cure and scientific progress is retarded.

A Cure is Always a Result of Art and is Never Brought About by Nature.- Nature, however, aided or unaided, often brings about a recovery, under the operation of natural laws. Fortunate indeed is it for humanity that this is true.

Aside from homoeopathy, sanitation and surgery, the only real progress in handling the problem of disease during the last century has been in the adoption of hygienic methods of treatment tending toward natural recovery – the abolition of all drugs and dependence upon rest, diet, regimen and good nursing – known as the expectant method. The rate of mortality in certain diseases has fallen in proportion to the degree that meddlesome medication has been superseded by sound hygienic methods.

Stuart Close
Stuart M. Close (1860-1929)
Dr. Close was born November 24, 1860 and came to study homeopathy after the death of his father in 1879. His mother remarried a homoeopathic physician who turned Close's interests from law to medicine.

His stepfather helped him study the Organon and he attended medical school in California for two years. Finishing his studies at New York Homeopathic College he graduated in 1885. Completing his homeopathic education. Close preceptored with B. Fincke and P. P. Wells.

Setting up practice in Brooklyn, Dr. Close went on to found the Brooklyn Homoeopathic Union in 1897. This group devoted itself to the study of pure Hahnemannian homeopathy.

In 1905 Dr. Close was elected president of the International Hahnemannian Association. He was also the editor of the Department of Homeopathic Philosophy for the Homeopathic Recorder. Dr. Close taught homeopathic philosophy at New York Homeopathic Medical College from 1909-1913.

Dr. Close's lectures at New York Homeopathic were first published in the Homeopathic Recorder and later formed the basis for his masterpiece on homeopathic philosophy, The Genius of Homeopathy.

Dr. Close passed away on June 26, 1929 after a full and productive career in homeopathy.