The Scope of Homeopathy

Homoeopathy as a therapeutic method is concerned primarily only with the *morbid vital processes in the living organism, which are perceptibly represented by the symptoms, irrespective of what caused them….

Accuracy and efficiency in homoeopathic therapeutics is only possible to those who have a clearly defined idea of the field in which the principle of *Similia is operative.

The scope of homoeopathy is a subject which has received too little consideration by teachers and practitioners alike. Hazy and confused ideas prevail. As a result we find on the one hand a few sincere but misguided enthusiasts attempting the impossible and bringing ridicule upon themselves, and on the other hand, the great majority, ignorant of the higher possibilities, missing their opportunities and bringing discredit upon themselves and their art by resorting to unhomoeopathic measures in cases which could readily be cured by homoeopathic remedies. One believes too much, the other too little. Neither one knows why he succeeds in one case and fails in another.

Haphazard cures do not justify boasting. The art of pharmaco- therapeutics in general, and of homoeopathy in particular, is not advanced by such work. What we need is clean-cut, scientific work; work capable of being rationally explained and verified; results attained by the intelligent application of a definite principle and a perfected technic in a sharply delimited field.

The therapeutic principle is known; the technique of prescribing has been developed; a large number of remedies have been prepared; but the field of action has not been clearly defined.

In this respect we are like an army which is wasting much good ammunition trying to search out a hidden enemy of whose exact location it is ignorant.

A philosophical aeroplane, sent into the upper regions of the air, may be able to locate the enemy exactly and enable us to train our guns directly upon him.

Homoeopathy as a therapeutic method is concerned primarily only with the *morbid vital processes in the living organism, which are perceptibly represented by the symptoms, irrespective of what caused them.

In defining the scope of homoeopathy it is necessary first to discriminate between disease *per se, as a morbid vital process and the material results or products in which the morbid process ultimates. With the latter, homoeopathy primarily has nothing to do. It is concerned only with disease *per se, in its primary, functional or dynamical aspect.

Disease *per se, Hahnemann says, is “nothing more than an alternation in the state of health of a healthy individual” caused by the dynamic action of external, inimical forces *upon the life principle of the living organism, making itself known only by perceptible signs and symptoms, the totality of which *represents and for all practical purposes constitutes the disease.

It becomes necessary, therefore, in homoeopathic prescribing to carefully separate the primary, functional symptoms which represent the morbid process itself, from the secondary symptoms which represent the pathological end-products of the disease.

The gross, tangible lesions and products in which disease ultimates are not the primary object of the homoeopathic prescription. We do not prescribe for the tumor which affects the patient, nor are we guided by the secondary symptoms which arise from the mere physical presence of the tumor: We prescribe for *the patient selecting and being guided by the symptoms which represent the morbid, vital process which preceded, accompanied and ultimated in the development of the tumor.

If there is doubts as to which symptoms are primary and which are secondary the history will decide. In the evolution of disease in the living organism, functional changes precede organic or structural changes. *”Function creates the organ”, is a maxim in biological and morphological science, from which it follows that *function reveals the condition of the organ.

The order in which the symptoms of a case appear, therefore, enables us to determine which are primary and which secondary, as well as to ascribe reflex symptoms to their source and correctly localize the disease.

For the homoeopathic prescriber the totality of the functional symptoms of the patient is the disease, in the sense that such symptoms constitute the only perceptible form of the disease and are the only rational basis of curative treatment. Symptoms are the outwardly perceptible signs or phenomena of internal morbid changes in the state of the previously healthy organism, and are our only means of knowing what disease is. They represent a change from a state of order to a state of disorder. When the symptoms are removed the disease ceases to exist.

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.