OUR old, brutal materialism seems to be slowly melting away. Even medicine is not escaping the metamorphosis. Early medicine did much groping about until the later Renaissance opened up the doctors minds to the hidden treasures of the past, excited their curiosity turning them into newer paths.
Such a background helps us to understand how the spirit which animated Hahnemann finally led him into researches of which we to-day are the beneficiaries. Whether we shall continue to deserve the legacy must rest with every individual.
Let it not be inferred that a mind capable of bringing to the light of day such an ethereal concept of vital action must necessarily also inaugurate an irresistible reform. The thinking processes of an eminently conservative profession are far too Darwinian for that. We must remember that a concept having the form of finality is moribund from its inception.
In the very year of my graduation, Madame Blavatsky laid down the maxim that “the essence of life is con-substantial with electricity.” We are only now beginning to realize how true this is. She further said that before the end of the nineteenth century new discoveries would upset the dicta of science. It was left to our own Madame Curie to fulfil this prophecy. How well she did it we realize more and more every day.
Truly the destructive power of radium is not limited to malignancies by any means, and by the strongest of inferences we must admit that the development of physics has rung the death knell of crude drugging and brought general medicine face to face with Hahnemanns experiments and their consequences. It only remains to be seen whether general enlightenment or medical progress will force the issue: the axe has been laid at the tree of preconception and of purely materialistic reasoning.
In order to sense the sharpness of his tools the physician must needs have a just comprehension of the physics of life, especially as implied in the philosophy of Hahnemanns Organon. He will then realize that Similia similibus curantur is a phase of the law of action and reaction on a higher plane.
It is an extension into the super-physical where stabilization occurs, as here, through the conversion of energy. In other words, health cannot be regained until harmony in the expenditure of vital energy again prevails. It is now beyond cavil that harmony can only be established through the contact of a synchronously acting or vibrating force. Manifestly this must be made through the nerve channels.
It is perhaps not too much to infer that this vital force must be of a fluidic nature and at present perhaps still super- physical, although we are confessedly on the borderland now. It is also inter-penetrative in that its effects are practically not only local but general. This conception explains how it comes about that amelioration is felt first in the mind and progresses as long as not mental revulsion occurs. The first intimation that the remedial response is beginning to slacken comes from the mind.
The experience of much prescribing often cause one to settle upon the use of only a few drugs or, at the best, into choosing the more promising one from a rather small group. It is loose and easy way that neglects the minority indications. Therefore it is less precise and efficient. It smacks of indolence and lack of mental agility, reminding one that versatility is not acquired any more easily here than elsewhere.
We are daily confronted with atypical cases that make the careful assembling of all of their symptoms very important if we wish to obtain a clear image for which a counterpart is to be sought among our provings. For this purpose we first search the repertory and then compare the actual provings until convinced of their similarity.
At present it is the only feasible method, but it is surprising how few men really know how to go about doing it well. Repeated, however, soon makes for skill, particularly in evaluating symptoms, which is, after all, exceedingly important as well as having considerable value in prognosis. Over-stressing single symptoms, or the wrong one, easily leads to one-sided prescribing, palliation, and ultimate confusion. The whole picture with certain outstanding points is the ideal to be sought if we wish to succeed.
About a score of our drugs show the common ills of life in their pathogenesis. These Hahnemann called polychrests, and if we must have favourites let us learn all we can about these first of all. They include Aconite, Belladonna, Bryonia, Chamomilla, China, Cina, Ferrum phosphoricum, Gelsemium, Hepar, Ignatia, Ipecacuanha, Lachesis, Mercury, Natrum muriaticum, Phosphorus, Pulsatilla, Rhus toxicodendron, Sulphur and the Veratrums. The sick-making properties of these drug resemble those of sick people rather than disease forms. This is a very vital distinction for the homoeopath.