Life, Health & Disease

In paragraph six he tells us that in each individual case we are to observe only what is outwardly discernible through the senses; that this consist of changes in the sensorial condition or health of body and soul revealed to our senses by morbid sign or symptoms and that these morbid signs or symptoms, in their entirety *represent the disease in its full extent; that they constitute the true and only conceivable from or picture of the disease.

In paragraph seven he tells us that the disease is the suffering of the *”dynamis” or the life principle of the organism; that the symptoms by which this suffering is made known constitute not only the sole guide to the choice of the curative remedy, but are in themselves all there is to be removed in effecting the cure. They represent “that which is curable in disease:.

In paragraph eight he states the general principle in logic. that when an effect ceases we may conclude that the cause has ceased to act. He says that when every perceptible symptom of disease or suffering of the vital force has been removed, the patient is cured.

Note carefully exactly what he says here. He does not say that when every tangible or visible result of the disease has been removed the patient is cured, but that disease is cured when every perceptible *sign of suffering of the dynamis has been removed.

The patient whose disease has produced a tumor may be perfectly cured by homoeopathic remedies and still have his tumor left, precisely as he may have a scar after the perfect healing of a wound.

The tumor is not the disease, but only the “end product” of the disease, as it were. The tumor is not the object of curative treatment, but the disease which preceded and produced the tumor. The tumor, in the course of successful treatment may or may not be absorbed and disappear. It depends upon the state of the patient’s metabolism.

If the patient’s vitality has not been too much exhausted by long illness and faulty living or treatment, and if his powers of metabolism are equal to the task, the tumor, or the effusion, or the infarctus or whatever it may be, will be absorbed as frequently happens in cases treated by skilful prescriber. I have myself seen this happen may time. But if the contrary is the case the tumor, or other morbid product, constitutes a merely mechanical condition which we may turn over to the surgeon for the exhibition of his manual dexterity and technical sill -after the patient has been cured of his disease.

There is another class of cases where medicine and surgery must go hand in hand because of lack of time; where, from seeing the case too late, mechanical conditions have come to constitute a menace to life. But even here skilful homoeopathic prescribing greatly lessens the danger of operating and increases the changes of a happy outcome in the cure of the patient.

The mere removal of the tangible products of disease by mechanical means as in the case of tumors, or of the external visible signs of disease by topical applications as in case of eruptions and discharges, not only does not cure the disease, but does the patient a positive injury and renders the case inveterate or more difficult to cure. Not infrequently it leads to the death of the patient from metastasis and the complications which result from such treatment. Disease is only *cured by the internally administered similar medicine, with due regard to the proper auxiliary psychical, hygienic and mechanical treatment.

Disease, then, is primarily a morbid disturbance or disorderly action of the vital force, represented by the totality of the symptoms of the patient. It is a purely dynamical disturbance of the vital power and functions, which may or may not ultimate in gross tissue changes. The tissue changes are no essential part of the disease, but only the products of the disease which, as such are not the object of treatment by medication.

Cure, from the homoeopathic point of view, consists in “the speedy, gentle and permanent *restitution of health, or alleviation and obliteration of disease, in its entire extent, in the shortest, most reliable and safest manner, according to clearly intelligible reasons” or principles.

To remove some symptoms of disease and palliate others is not to remove or obliterate the disease “in its entire extent”, nor permanently restore health. Whether palliation makes for the patient’s well-being or not depends upon the circumstances and how it is done. We may palliate symptoms and make the patient more comfortable by the use of well-selected homoeopathic remedies, or by a judicious and conservative surgical operation; and that may be all its possible to do in a particular case. Palliation is permissible and all that is possible sometimes. But there is a right way and wrong way to palliate.

The wrong way of palliation often leads to metastasis to more important organs. That is always bad for the patient, because it leads to further complications and suffering. The right kind of palliation *is curative as far as it goes, i.e. it is achieved by the application of the curative principle; but in the nature of the case, or exigencies of the situation, cure in the complete sense may be impossible, because the case has passed beyond the curable stage.

We must learn to distinguish between incurable disease and disease which has reached the incurable stage. There is no such thing as “incurable disease”. All diseases are curable before they have reached a certain stage; and that does not necessarily mean that we must “begin to treat a child three hundred years before it is born”. as Dr. Oliver Wendel Holmes humorously but pessimistically said.

“Suppression” or palliation of disease, is the removal of the external symptoms of disease by external mechanical, chemical or topical treatment; or by means of powerful drugs, given internally in massive doses, which have a direct physiological or toxic effect but no true therapeutic or curative action.

The “suppressed” case always “goes bad”. As an example of metastasis frequently observed and verified take the surgical obliteration of a rectal fistula resulting from an ischiorectal abscess in a tubercular patient, without having previously submitted the patient to a successful course of curative medical and hygienic treatment. What happens in such a case? The local, visible rectal symptoms are removed, the fistula is gone, but what about the patient?

Presently the interior systemic disease which up to the time of the operation may be said to have been tentatively expressing itself in the rectal lesion, to the temporary relief of the organism and protection of vital organs, how breaks out in the lungs and hastens the patient to an untimely grave. A possibly curable case has been rendered incurable and a patient’s life sacrificed because the physician or surgeon has failed to recognize the true indications in the case. The abscess and fistula act as if they were the “Vent” or “Exhaust” of the disease, affording temporary safety to vital organs. Close the exhaust and explosion follows.

The practical bearing of the foregoing consideration appears when we come to the treatment of disease. If we regard the external tangible manifestations as the all of disease and make them the object of treatment, we are likely to lose sight of the logical relation between cause and effect, overlook important etiological factors, invert the natural order and direction of treatment and end by using measures which can result only in failure or in mere palliation instead of cure. Such treatment fails because it is one sided and superficial. It is not guided by knowledge of the true nature and causes of disease and their relation to its external manifestations.

Almost anyone may learn how to drive an automobile but without a knowledge of the nature, source and mode of application of its motive power and means of control he is likely to be left helpless by the roadside if anything goes wrong with his motor. Life is the power which runs the human automobile, and he who would run it successfully and be able to adjust and repair it when things go wrong must know the nature and laws of that power.

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.