IT does not follow that, because you have been taught a thing, you know all about it; or that you have even absorbed all the [Possibly limited] knowledge of the person who taught you. There is nothing absolute about what we call “a knowledge” of any great subject. It is an unstable quantity, even quality-apt to dwindle and die out, or, on the other hand, to augment by accretions.
Therefore, where the knowledge is really worth having, it is well to hark back to its beginnings, and investigate for oneself.
You see, if you learn from somebody, who learnt from somebody else, who again learnt from somebody else, the original teaching is bound to contract and get distorted. It becomes more or less a selection and re-selection, contaminated by the mentalities of all the sources through which it has dribbled down.
The remedy ?- go back to its beginnings for clarity of vision and precision of detail. Consult the original genius to whom the vision was vouchsafed.
The early homoeopaths were steeped in Hahnemann. They read him; they translated him : they wrote about him and the astonishing work that he had enabled them to do, whose fame spread rapidly throughout the whole world : we little realize, in these days, how far and wide.
It surprises us to read of the 1,000-odd cases of cholera treated homoeopathically in different parts of Russia in 1830-31 with an absurdly minimal mortality : and of not only similar results in Austria, Italy, and Europe generally, but even in far Guatemala where a Baptist minister was imprisoned for “curing, gratuitously, a large proportion of cholera patients, when the local hospital treatment did not cure one”.
For our best teachings we have to go back, even to-day, to reproduce his and their teachings and experiences. And yet, who reads Hahnemann to- day ?-just the few, who automatically become leaders. One such was KENT of Chicago, that great teacher, who largely inspired what the French are already beginning to call L’Homoeopathie Anglaise. But Kent wrote to this effect. “I have originated nothing. I have only given the teachings of Hahnemann.”.
But, who has ever bothered about Hahnemanns most important message, urged in his Chronic Diseases ? These are out of print : mere scattered volumes, to be picked up, here and there, second- hand. And even then, difficult to grasp, for the reason we have several times indicated in these pages-a couple of phrases- words rather !-amazingly reducible, the most important of them, into the advanced teachings of modern science.
When we were children, a whole happy crowd of us, with many games to exercise our wits-we used to play at what we will term, Unconscious Distortion. The expectant players sat around while one, with a short story written out, beckoned No.2 outside and read it through to him.
Then No.2 beckoned No.3 outside, and repeated the story-as he remembered it. No.3 in turn, repeated what remained with him to No.4, each one unconsciously supplying deficiencies where memory failed. Presently the last to hear the story retold it to the assembly; when the original was read out, proving, amid roars of laughter, how widely it had, quite unintentionally been made to deviate from the original.
With us, “children of larger growth but children still”, the same thing obtains. Facts retold, wander about and get inevitably distorted. It takes a Macaulay to read a page, or listen to speech or sermon, and be able to repeat it correctly, word for word. The majority hear; catch at points that interest them; grasp whatever appeals to them, at that stage of their development, as interesting, instructive, or likely to be useful.
Now, in the Correspondence Course, at last “completed”, we have endeavoured to reproduce the actual teachings of Hahnemann, with lavish quotations and without any of the modifications and distortions that have crept in since his day. As when ONE says, “Of course I prefer drops of tincture, or the useful medicated discs, each one absorbing precisely one minim of the tincture. Patients prefer them.
And, after all, one wants something a little less intangible than those absurd globules which you see in pocket cases in the Hall of the L.H.H. in Hahnemanns own ridiculous little bottles. . . .” Or, again, “I find so-and-so good for such-and-such a condition. Mrs. A. was immensely improved by it, and Mrs. B. is very much like her as regards so- and-so.” Or, when you find potencies, high or low, prescribed two or three times a day, for weeks on end, for chronic cases.
Or when remedies are mixed or alternated, because the prescriber is too busy, or too indolent, or too ignorant to discover which one is really indicated. Or, when, as seems to be the practice across the Channel, one drug may be prescribed night and morning, another a.c.or p.c., and a third two or three times a week.
Such prescriptions are brought to us from time to time, by patients who expect something startling from what we are to give them !-without anything but a mix-up of drug-symptoms as guide. Where these things go by the name of “Homoeopathy”, and when such prescribers call themselves “homoeopaths”, the precise methods of Hahnemann come into undeserved disrepute.
Some months ago, a charming little French doctor arrived with a message, “Dr. X. sends me. He asks you to teach me good Homoeopathy, as you taught him a year a go”. And now, she writes, that she, in her turn, is teaching her doctor friends L’Homoeopathie Anglaise.
At risk of some repetition, we would like to reproduce from the summing up of No.12 Correspondence Course :-.
It was in order to provide the earnest enquirer with an easy introduction to, and a chance of practising genuine Homoeopathy in its fullness-a bigger thing than is generally appreciated-and also to provide the teacher of Homoeopathy with actual data, instead of second-hand, or third-hand learning, where bits drop out, and fresh teachings are introduced by new teachers, themselves only half taught, that this attempt has been made to present the actual teachings of Hahnemann; not only the great Law of Healing, with the subsidiary Laws it imposes, but also its extension into the else difficult realms of Chronic Disease.
The task has been arduous and long drawn out, because the more one reads and re-reads, the more one perceives and marvels at that astonishing Prescience now, at least, coming into its own, after 100 years of neglect and derision. But, “If physicians do not carefully practise what I teach, let them not boast of being my followers, and above all, let them not expect to be successful in their treatment”.
So now, for the Healer who would follow on, the rest is. INTELLIGENCE,-DILIGENCE,-GRIT.