General Pathology of Homoeopathy

This classification of the phenomena of disease into miasms, led to the broadest generalization in pathology and etiology that has ever been made, and greatly simplified and elucidated the whole subject….

Theory of the Chronic Diseases. – Human pathology is the science which treats of diseased or abnormal conditions of living human beings. It is customary to divide the subject into general pathology and special pathology. *Special pathology is divided into *medical pathology, dealing with internal morbid conditions, and *surgical pathology, which deals with external conditions. *General pathology bears the same relation to special pathology that philosophy bears to the special sciences. It is the synthesis of the analyses made by special pathology. It deals with principles, theories, explanations and classifications of facts.

While the findings and conclusions of modern pathology are accepted in large part by all schools of medicine, and serve as the common basis of the therapeutic art, there are enough variations and differences, particularly in general pathology, arising from contemplation of the subject from the homoeopathic point of view to justify the creation of a special field or department, called Homoeopathic General Pathology, especially as it is concerned with *Chronic Diseases.

Homoeopathy differs with regular medicine in its interpretation and application of several fundamental principles of science. It is these differences of interpretation and the practice growing out of them which give homoeopathy its individuality and continue its existence as a distinct school of medicine.

These differences are primarily philosophical. They have to do mainly with the interpretation or explanation of facts upon which all are agreed, and which all accept. These differing interpretations arise from differing viewpoints. Modern science in general, and medical science in particular, regards the facts of the universe from a materialistic standpoint. It endeavors to reduce all things to the terms of *matter and motion. No valid objection could be raised to this if its definitions of these terms were broad enough to include all the facts.But failing in this, and deliberately closing its eyes and refusing to see certain great, fundamental facts which are not covered by its definitions and of which, therefore, no explanation can be made, medical science formulates systems and methods of practice which are not only inefficient, but often positively harmful.

Homoeopathic medical science views the facts of the universe in general, and medical facts in particular, from a vitalistic sub- stantialistic standpoint; that is, from the standpoint of the substantial philosophy, which regards all things and forces, *including life and mind, as substantial entities, having a real, objective existence. In homoeopathic philosophy life and mind are the fundamental verities of the universe.

Upon the recognition of this basic fact rests Hahnemann’s doctrine of the ” Vital Force” as set forth in the Organon, about which there has been so much discussion. All doubt as to Hahnemann’s position is removed and the subject is placed beyond controversy so far as he is concerned by the final sixth revised edition of the Organon, which is at last accessible to the profession. In this edition Hahnemann invariably uses the term, *Vital Principle instead of Vital Force, even speaking in one place of *”the vital force of the Vital Principle,” thus making it clear that he holds firmly to the substantialistic view of life-that is, that Life is a substantial, objective entity; a primary, originating power or principle and not a mere condition or mode of motion. From this conception arises the dynamical theory of disease upon which is based the Hahnemann pathology, *viz.: that disease is always primarily a morbid dynamical or functional disturbance of the vital principle; and upon this is reared the entire edifice of therapeutic medication, governed by the law of *Similia as a selective principle.

As this view leads to a radically different method of practice, the necessity for a special consideration of general pathology in its various departments is evident.

In formulating his “Theory of the Chronic Miasms, ” Hahnemann did for pathology what he had already done for therapeutics: he reduced a great mass of unsystematized data to order by making a classification based upon general principles.

This classification of the phenomena of disease led to the broadest generalization in pathology and etiology that has ever been made, and greatly simplified and elucidated the whole subject.

Hahnemann’s generalization was based upon his new and far- reaching discovery: *the existence of living, specific, infectious micro-organisms as the cause of the greater part of all true diseases.

The history of the progress of natural history shows how men first approached nature; how the facts have been collected, and how these facts have been converted into science by successively broader and broader generalizations leading to the discovery of basic laws of nature.

The work of Hahnemann in pathology may be compared to that of Cuvier in zoology, who reduced the entire animal kingdom to four fundamental classes, based upon the general characteristics of their internal structure : Vertebrates, Mollusks, Articulates and Radiates. Until Cuvier’s time there was no great principle of classification. Facts were accumulated and more or less systematized, but they were not arranged according to law.

Hahnemann reduced all the phenomena of chronic disease according to their causes to four fundamental classes, Occupational or drug diseases, Psora, Syphilis and Sycosis.

Taking the entire mass of morbid phenomena, he first eliminated all of the numerous symptoms and so-called diseases which are merely local, temporary and functional, in persons otherwise healthy, due to non-specific causes, such as indiscretions in diet or regimen, mechanical injuries, undue exertions or indulgences, emotional excesses, etc. Such conditions are not true diseases, but mere indispositions, which disappear of themselves under ordinary circumstances when the cause is removed, or yield easily to corrective hygienic, dietetic, moral or mechanical measures. They ordinarily require no medicine. In this class of cases are included many of the so-called occupational diseases, caused by exposure of healthy persons to noxious influences incidental to environment or vocation, such as unsanitary dwellings, exposure to fumes and emanations from chemicals, absorption of minerals such as lead or copper, etc.

The treatment of such conditions involves merely the removal of the cause, and, in some cases, antidoting the poisons, chemically or dynamically.

This removed a large part of the mass of phenomena from the category of diseases and cleared the way for further new classification of the remainder.

The next step consisted in collecting into a class all the phenomena known to be due to those ancient, widespread and malignant scourges of mankind, the venereal diseases. Syphilis, already recognized as the fundamental cause of a large number of symptoms and as a complicating factor in many diseases, had been studied quite extensively. A careful review and collection of all the known phenomena of syphilis was made, greatly enlarging its scope.

Gonorrhoea as a constitutional disease was but little known, but Hahnemann’s keen mind had detected its relation to many evil consequences following the suppression of the primary discharge by local treatment. He had also observed the evils arising from the topical and mechanical treatment of the anomalous venereal condition variously known as *Sycosis, or the ” fig wart disease,” condylomata, ficus marisca, atrices and warts. (London Medical Dictionary, 1819.)

Certain forms of condylomata were regarded by some authorities as due to syphilis. Although it was known that the tumors were sometimes of venereal origin and accompanied by a kind of gonorrhoeal discharge from the genital passages or the rectum, they were not recognized as the manifestations of a distinct disease, differing in many important respects from syphilis, nor were they necessarily connected with gonorrhoea.

Condylomata were not regarded as having any connection with the large number of peculiar constitutional symptoms which are present in many cases. Hahnemann made extensive researches in the phenomena presenting in such cases and came to the conclusion, first, that they constituted a definite and distinct infectious, constitutional venereal disease, clearly distinguishable from syphilis on the one hand, and the simple, non-specific urethritis on the other; and second, that it was due to the presence of specific, living micro-organisms.

To this newly recognized pathological from the applied the generic name *Sycosis, using the Greek term commonly employed in his day to designate the typical physical manifestation, the “fig wart.” His researches in the general subject of syphilis and gonorrhoea, conducted by the inductive method in science, resulted in throwing a flood of light upon a previously obscure subject, more clearly defining and greatly broadening not only the sphere of the venereal diseases, but the scope of all subsequent research. He was thus the precursor by more than fifty years of Noeggerath, who called attention anew to the importance of gonorrhoea as a constitutional disease and demonstrated the gonococcus as its specific proximate cause.

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.