Before Hahnemann’s genius opened up the new way pain was merely pain. To discriminate between various kinds of pain; to analyze and classify pains, and not only pains, but all other subjective sensations and feelings, and to relate them as phenomena of disease to remedies, as Hahnemann did, had never been thought of before. It is ridiculed and scoffed at today by those who do not see that there is something radically wrong with a system of medicine that practically ignores the great bulk of the symptoms of almost every case and tantalizes the patient by learned explanations of their cause; by assurances that they are of no consequence; or, if his clamor becomes too loud, clubs him into silence with an opiate.

Objective Symptoms.-Hahnemann defines objective symptoms as. “the expression of disease in the sensations and functions of that side of the organism exposed to the senses of the physician and bystanders.” In this peculiar definition there is an allusion to his definition of disease as a dynamical disturbance of the vital force and of Medicine as, “a pure science of experience, which can and must rest on clear facts and sensible phenomena clearly cognizable by the senses.” There is also a reminder that there is more in an objective symptom than is perceptible to the eye alone. The subjective “sensations and functions” of the visibly affected organ or part are to be considered as well as the purely objective signs. Hahnemann here implies that functional and sensational disturbances precede organic changes; and this is consistent with his basic premise that all disease is primarily a dynamical disturbance of the life principle. He never loses sight of this fundamental conception of the nature of disease.

Totality of the Symptoms.- “Totality of this Symptoms” is an expression peculiar to homoeopathy which requires special attention. It is highly important to understand exactly what it means and involves, because the totality of the symptoms is the true and only basis for every homoeopathic prescription.

Hahnemann (Org., Par. 6) says:- “The ensemble or totality of these available signs or symptoms, represents in its full extent the disease itself; that is, they constitute the true and only form of which the mind is capable of conceiving.” The expression has a two-fold meaning. It represents the disease and it also represents the remedy, as language represents thought.

1. The Totality of the Symptoms means, first, the totality of each individual symptom.

A single symptom is more than a single fact; it is a fact, with its history, its origin, its location its progress or direction, and its conditions.

Every complete symptom has three essential elements:- Location, Sensation and Modality.

By *location is meant the part, organ, tissue or function of body or mind in which the symptom appears.

By *sensation is meant the impression, or consciousness of an impression upon the central system through the medium of the sensory or afferent nerves, or through one of the organs of senses; a feeling, or state of consciousness produced by an external stimulus, or by some change in the internal state of the body. A sensation may also be a purely mental or physical reaction, such as fright, fear, anger, grief or jealousy.

By *modality we refer to the circumstances and conditions that affect or modify a symptom, of which the conditions of aggravation and amelioration are the most important Dr. William Boericke well said:

“The modalities of a drug are the pathognomonic symptoms of the Materia Medica.”

By *”aggravation” is meant an increase or intensification of already existing symptoms by some appreciable circumstance or condition.

“Aggravation” is also used in homoeopathic parlance to describe those conditions in which, under the action of a deeply acting homoeopathic medicine (or from other causes), latent disease becomes active and expresses itself in the return of the old symptoms or the appearance of new symptoms. In such cases it represents the reaction of the organism to the stimulus of a well selected medicine, and is generally curative in its nature.

*”Amelioration” is technically used to express the modification of relief, or diminution of intensity in any of the symptoms, or in the state of the patient as a whole, by medication, or by the influence of any agency, circumstance or condition.

2. The Totality of the Symptoms means *all the symptoms of the case which are capable of being logically combined into a harmonious and consistent whole, having form, coherency and individuality. Technically, the totality is more (and may be less) than the mere numerical totality of the symptoms. It includes the *”concomitance” or form in which symptoms are grouped.

Hahnemann (Org., Par. 7) calls the totality, *”this image (or picture) reflecting outwardly the internal essence of the disease, i.e., of the suffering life force.”

The word used is significant and suggestive. A picture is a * work of art, which appeals to our esthetic sense as well as to our intellect. Its elements are from, color, light, shade, tone, harmony, and perspective. As a composition it *expresses an idea, it may be of sentiment or fact; but it does this by the harmonious combination of its elements into a whole – a totality. In a well balanced picture each element is given its full value and its right relation to all the other elements.

So it is in the symptom picture which is technically called the Totality. *The totality must express an idea. when studying a case from the diagnostic standpoint, for example, certain symptoms are selected as having a known pathological relation to each other, and upon these is based the diagnosis. The classification of symptoms thus made represents the *diagnostic idea. Just so the “totality of the symptoms,” considered as the basis of a homoeopathic prescription, represents the *therapeutic idea. These two groups may be and often are different. The elements which go to make up the *therapeutic totality must be as definitely and logically related and consistent as are the elements which go to make up the *diagnostic totality.

The “totality” is not, therefore, a mere haphazard, fortuitous jumble of symptoms thrown together without rhyme or reason, any more than a similar haphazard collection of pathogenetic symptoms in a proving constitutes Materia Medica.

The Totality means the *sum of the aggregate of the symptoms: Not merely the numerical aggregate – the entire number of the symptoms as particulars or single symptoms – but their sum total, their organic whole as an individuality. As a machine set up complete and in perfect working order is more than a numerical aggregate of its single dissociated parts, so the Totality is more than the mere aggregate of its constituent symptoms. it is the numerical aggregate *plus the idea of plan which unites them in a special manner to give them its characteristic form. As the parts of a machine cannot be thrown together in any haphazard manner, but each part must be fitted to each other part in a certain definite relation according to the preconceived plan or design – “assembled,” as the mechanics say-so the symptoms of a case must be “assembled” in such a manner that they constitute an identity, an individuality, which may be seen and recognized as we recognize the personality of a friend.

The same idea underlies the phrase, *”Genius of the Remedy.” Genius, in this sense, being the dominant influence, of the essential principle of the remedy which gives it its individuality.

The idea of the Totality as an abstract form, or figure, has been applied to the materia medica as a whole. The materia medicas as a whole is the sum total of the symptoms of all proved medicines – a grand, all inclusive figure which may be imagined or personified in the form of a human being or “super-man,” this conception being based upon the anatomical, physiological and psychological plan or framework of the materia medica.

The idea is applicable in exactly the same way in pathology. Disease in general, considered as a whole, is composed of the totality of all the symptoms which represent it to our senses. The pathological totality, also, can be personified or pictured by the imagination in the form of a human being.

Starting with this conception some of our ingenious writers have amused themselves and added to the gaiety of the profession by personifying medicines, microbes and maladies and casting them in all sorts of roles – a dramatic whimsy which has its value as an educational expedient for a certain type of mind.

The materia medica from this point of view becomes a portrait gallery of diseases, a sort of medical “Rogues Gallery” by means of which we may identify the thieves who steal away our health and comfort and bring them to justice. In homoeopathic practice to carry out the simile, we merely “set a thief to catch a thief.”

As a constructive principle, therefore, the idea of the Totality enters into the formation not only of the materia medica as a whole, but of every remedy and every symptom.

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.