General Pathology of Homoeopathy

There still remained the vast number of symptoms constituting the non-venereal diseases, acute and chronic, which afflict man- kind. These for the most part had been or were being classified in the most arbitrary and whimsical manner.

Classifications and nomenclature were being changed constantly according to the varying opinions and theories of individuals, none of whom were guided by any general principle. The situation was exactly like that which confronted Cuvier in natural history and Linnaeus in botany.

Into this wilderness of conflicting names, theories and classifications Hahnemann began to blaze his way, guided by the compass of logic encased in the inductive method of Bacon. His search was now directed to the discovery of the fundamental causes of the non-venereal diseases. Having found that so large a number of symptoms and diseases had a venereal origin in syphilis and sycosis, it occurred to him that it might be possible to find a common, general or primary cause for all, or at least a great part of the remaining symptoms of disease, and thus to make a final generalization. To this end he directed his efforts. Rejecting existing classifications; searching, collecting, comparing, grouping similar and naturally related symptoms in the light of history, logic and experience; tracing the relations between similar diseases and their antecedents, and tracing recognized proximate causes to their antecedent causes as far back as possible, he gradually narrowed the field of general causation until he arrived at one primary cause, which accounted for and explained the greater part, if not all of the phenomena with which he was working.

The determination of a primary cause opened the way for a consistent reclassification of the secondary causes, and the correction of many errors of grouping and nomenclature of diseases. It obliterated at one stroke a large number of fictitious diseases which were in reality named from merely single symptoms. (Hydrocephalus, fever, diarrhoea, hydrophobia, jaundice, diabetes, anaemia, chlorosis, pyorrhoea, otorrhoea, catarrh, eczema, etc., all of which belong to the general class of infections.)

As Cuvier’s work showed that the animal kingdom was built on four different structural plans, so, by singular coincidence, Hahnemann’s work showed that diseases were built, as it were, on four different plans, according as they arose from four different causes; namely, Occupational or Drug diseases, Syphilis, Sycosis and Psora.

Relation of Bacteriology to Homoeopathy :- This brings us to a consideration of Hahnemann’s epoch-making discovery of specific, living micro-organisms as the cause of infectious diseases such as cholera and the venereal diseases, and of the relation of bacteriology to homoeopathy.

The great practical value of Hahnemann’s Theory of the Chronic Diseases has never been fully appreciated because it has never been fully understood.

Hahnemann was so far ahead of his time that is teaching, in its higher phases, could not be fully understood until science in its slower advance had elucidated and corroborated the facts upon which he based it; and this science has done in a remarkable manner. For the suggestion of bacteriology as the basis of a rational modern interpretation of Hahnemann’s Theory of the Chronic Diseases we are indebted to the late Dr. Thomas G. McConkey, of San Francisco. His paper, “Psora, Sycosis and Syphilis,” published in the December, 1908, number of *The North American Journal of Homoeopathy, laid the profession under a deep obligation to him. The critical insight, originality, open- mindedness and evident comprehension of the deep significance of the facts of the case displayed in that brief but suggestive paper add poignancy to our regrets that he did not live to work out a fuller exposition of the subject himself.

It is perhaps less important that Hahnemann should be accorded the just recognition due him for his remarkable contribution to medical science, than that the world should be given the benefit of the practical teaching included in his Theory of the Chronic Diseases.

Modern bacteriological science, by long independent research, slowly arrived at the goal Hahnemann reached more than half a century before in regard to the nature and causes of certain forms of disease. It has accomplished much in the way of prophylaxis, sanitation and hygiene through the use of that knowledge; but the profession at large has failed to follow his logical and practical deductions in regard to the *cure of these diseases, or to discover a means of cure for itself. In this respect modern medicine is no further advanced that it was in Hahnemann’s day. It is obliged to confess and does confess, when driven to the wall, that it has no reliable cure for any disease.

Vaccine treatment, for example, the latest, most general and most widely adopted theory and practice growing out of bacteriology is now acknowledged by the highest representative authority of regular medicine to be a failure.

The *Journal of the American Medical Association (No. 21, 1916), presents, as the leading article of that issue, a paper by Dr. Ludwig Hektoen, on “Vaccine Treatment,” and devotes to it a page of editorial comment.

The editorial opens as follows :

“Looking backward over the development of active immunization by vaccines during the last fifteen years, we appear to be at the termination of one epoch in the therapeutics of infectious disease. In this issue Hektoen traces the stages by which vaccines which were first employed with attempted scientific control have come into indiscriminate and unrestrained use, with no guide beyond the statements which commercial vaccine makers are pleased to furnish with their wares. Already most physicians are realizing that the many claims made for vaccines are not borne out by facts, and that judging from practical results there is something fundamentally wrong with the method as at present so widely practiced. As clearly shown by Hektoen, ‘the simple fact is that we have no reliable evidence to show that vaccines, as used commonly, have the uniformly prompt and specific curative effects proclaimed by optimistic enthusiasts and especially by certain vaccine makes, who manifestly have not been safe guides to the principles of successful and rational therapeutics.”

It is not fair, and certainly not ingenuous, as that keen critic, Dr. E.P. Anshutz, then editor of The Homoeopathic Recorder, pointed out, to put the blame for this failure upon the manufacturer, since *”Vaccine therapy was born in the innermost chamber of laboratory science.”

The editorial concludes as follows:

“The fact that much time and effort of the past ten years appear now to have been wasted, so far as positive results go, should make us doubly cautious in accepting a new and somewhat similar procedure until opportunity has been afforded for its verification under conditions favorable for scientific control.”

Confronted with demonstrations of cure by homoeopathic medication in such bacterial diseases as cholera, typhoid, typhus and yellow fever, croup, diphtheria, pneumonia, rheumatism and even tuberculosis and cancer, the dominant school of medicine has thus far declined to consider them, denied both the cures and the principles upon which they are accomplished, and continued to follow its traditional course. it still pursues the ancient “will o’ the wisp” “specifies for diseases,” ever failing and refusing to see that cure is always *individual, in the *concrete case or patient, never in the generalized disease; and that such a thing as a specific cure for a disease does not, and, in the nature of things, cannot exist, since no two cases, even of the same disease, are ever the same. Realization of such failures, and bacteriological confirmation of the teaching of Hahnemann in respect to the nature and cause of certain diseases, taken together, should at least create a presumption in favor of the truth of his teaching in regard to the cure of those diseases and lead to a scientific investigation of his method.

Dr. McConkey, viewing Hahnemann’s theory from the standpoint of bacteriology, pointed out, first, that we have inherited from preceding generations a false and misleading interpretation of what Hahnemann really taught in regard to *Psora as the cause of chronic non-venereal diseases.

The primary error consisted in regarding psora merely as a *dyscrasia or diathesis, which is directly opposed to what Hahnemann taught as we now understand it. Instead of regarding psora as a dyscrasia Hahnemann *included several of the dyscrasia among the morbid conditions and diseases *caused by psora.

Such an error could only have arisen in minds already prejudiced by the current erroneous teaching of the day, and not yet enlightened by knowledge which was soon to come as a result of original research in the field of bacteriology. On this ground it is conceivable how the error arose and spread. New truth, quickly grasped by a few alert and open minds, penetrates the average mind slowly. Original investigators themselves, absorbed in their own pursuit, are often reluctant to consider their work in its relation to the work of preceding investigators, even if they are philosophically competent to do so, which, as a rule, they are not.

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.