The Unity of Medicine

This is not to say that theoretical considerations are of no use or value, but simply that theory is to be checked up and modified by facts as revealed in the individual. That a patient ought to take or avoid a certain article of food does not always mean that he can do so. Frequently he can not do so. Knowledge of homoeopathic principles and methods thus enables the practitioner to make these individual adjustments and modifications intelligently and overcome obstacles otherwise insurmountable.

The question of individual susceptibility to medicinal action must be considered. Susceptibility to medicinal influence varies in different individuals according to time and circumstances, as well as to different drugs. In health one may be susceptible to the action of a medicine at one time and under certain circumstances and not at other times and under other circumstances. Moreover, one may be constitutionally susceptible to only a few medicines. In sickness, susceptibility to the symptomatically similar potentiated medicine is greatly increased, but in that case the action is curative, although new symptoms (proving) may arise if the potency be not suitable or too many doses be taken.

Age, sex, temperament and constitution; occupation, habits, climate, season, weather; the nature, type, extent and stage of the disease everything, in fact, which modifies the psychological, physiological, or pathological status of the individual patient modifies, at the same time, the susceptibility to medicine, increasing or decreasing it, in health and disease. All these modifying factors must be observed, considered, weighed and their influence estimated in conducting a proving, or treating a case. One will react only to a high potency, another only to a medium potency or still another only to a low potency or tangible doses of the crude drug.

In practice the whole scale of potencies from the lowest to the highest is open to the homoeopathic physician. He defines his power and sphere of influence over health and disease largely by the number of differing potencies he possesses and the skill with which he uses them.

Success in homoeopathic treatment largely depends, therefore, upon the ability to correctly measure the individual patient’s degree of susceptibility to medication and select the most appropriate potency.

Therapeutic Nihilism. – Although it has spread to all parts of the civilized world, numbering its practitioners by thousands and its patients by millions, homoeopathy has never found open and general acceptance in the medical profession. Occasional conversions of individuals from the ranks of the dominant school have apparently made little impression on the profession as whole, but the influence of Hahnemannian principles is increasingly perceptible as time goes on. By long, tedious, circuitous routes medical science appears to be approaching the goal attained over a century ago by Hahnemann.

It is only another illustration of the fact that poets, prophets and philosophers often perceive great truths and announce them to the world long before slow-moving scientists succeed in proving them to their own satisfaction.

Intuition, the highest faculty of the human mind, wings its aerial way home, while research and investigation laboriously plod their way along upon the ground.

The main subjects of controversy in the past have been:

1. The idea of a general principle of curative medication; 2, the doctrine of potentiation and the minimum dose; 3, proving medicines on the healthy, and 4 the single remedy.

Refusing to submit these questions to the test of competent, systematic investigation and experimentation, and baffled in their own efforts to find a successful way of treating the sick by medication, leaders of the dominant school have practically abandoned drugs, and now rely mainly upon surgery and hygienic methods, supplemented more recently;by the use of sera and vaccines.

In pathology and physiology there has been a gradual breaking away from the tyranny of authority that has so long held the medical profession in its grip. But in pharmaco-therapy this nihilistic tendency has carried them almost to the point of complete negation.

Osler, writing in 1901, said: “He is the best physician who knows the worthlessness of most medicine”.

Barker, his successor at Johns Hopkins, says; “The death-blow came first to polypharmacy. To-day with many, pharmaco-therapy as a whole is almost moribund”.

Billings in his address as president of the American Medical Association, says; “Drugs, with the exception of quinine in malaria, and mercury in syphilis, are valueless as cures”.

Musser, of Philadelphia, two years later, from the same chair said; “One sees less and less of the use of drugs.”

Cabot, of Harvard, in his notable address before the Boston Homoeopathic Medical Society, said “I doubt if you gentlemen realize how large a proportion of our patients are treated without any drugs at all, and how little faith we have to-day in the curative power of drugs”.

These extracts indicate the extremity to which some keen observers, clear thinkers and honest men of the dominant school have been drive, in the absence of a general principle of therapeutic medication. In the meantime the rank and file have gone on stolidly in the same old course of pernicious drugging.

Blinded by professional pride and prejudice, the dominant school as a whole has bitterly antagonized or ignored the principle enunciated by Hahnemann a century ago and demonstrated by him and his successors continuously ever since.

In no profession, perhaps, has there been so little open- mindedness, so little of the impersonal, so little of the true scientific spirit, as in medicine. Few indeed have there been in either school who could rise above the petty personal and professional jealousies which have hampered them into the freedom of the higher, impersonal realm of pure science. The controversial rather than the scientific spirit has ruled to largely on both sides.

In one respect at least the leaders of the old school are in perfect accord with the followers of Hahnemann who have always maintained that the use of drugs in the treatment of disease, except in minimum doses and in accordance with the law of similars, is both useless and injurious.

One of the first and most important truths taught to homoeopathic students is that drugs, in crude from and ordinary so-called physiological doses, have the power to make even well people sick. It is demonstrated by the pathogenetic record of every drug in our materia medica. How much more injurious drugs are to sick persons, with their lower power of resistance and increased irritability, might easily be inferred theoretically if the comparative mortality rates did not continually furnish proof of their deadly influence and make such inferences superfluous.

There have been signs of a beginning change of base in the ranks of the dominants school of medicine within the last few years. Among others, the wide acceptance and practice of serum and vaccine-therapy and the hospitality of many of its advocates to the suggestion that the underlying principle of this form of treatment is analogous to if indeed it be not in fact the homoeopathic principle, tends to show a more tolerant spirit toward the idea of a general therapeutic principle governing the curative action of all drugs in all diseases by medication.

General medicine has made great advances since the days of Hahnemann; notably in the sciences of biology, physiology, pathology and bacteriology. Research and discovery in these fields have revealed facts which not only tend to confirm, but to elucidate the essential principles of homoeopathy. This has not escaped the notice of certain of the leaders in the dominant school of medicine, although for obvious reasons they prefer not to enlarge upon it publicly. Having made and announced an important discovery in medical science, it is not flattering to one’s vanity to be shown that in all essential points the same discovery was made announced and put to use in the better way more than a century ago, by one who has been held up to obloquy and scorn by a large part of the profession ever since.

Modern biological science has confirmed homoeopathists anew in their belief that in homoeopathy they have not only the basic law of therapeutic medication, but also of all tissue reaction. Study of the reactions of protoplasm to stimuli (Chemical, electrical and mechanical) has led to the formulation of the biological law now universally accepted viz; *”The same agent which in relatively large quantities damages or destroys activity, will in relatively small quantities stimulate it”.

This is substantially a statement of the well-known law upon which homoeopathy is based. It establishes a firm foundation for a practical system of a therapeutic medication formulated by the methods of pure experimental science. It leads naturally and logically to systematic experimentation with drugs upon healthy, living subjects to determine their natural tissue relations and organic affinities and the kind of reactions their administration arouses.

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.