“Fixed Principles.” Law and Government From Centre

We see from all this the necessity of potentization. All causes are so refined in character, so subtle in their nature, that they can operate from centre to circumference, operative upon man’s interiors and from the interior to the very exterior. The coarser thing cannot permeate the skin. Man’s skin is an envelope, protecting him against contagion from coarser materials; but against the immaterial substance he is protected only when in perfect health. In an unguarded moment he suffers and this is the nature and quality of disease cause.

It can only flow into man from the centre and towards the outermost in a way to disturb his government. The disturbance of government is a disturbance of order, and this is all there is of sickness, and we have only to follow this out to find that the very house man lives in, and his cells, are becoming deranged. Changes are the result of disorder and end in breaking down, degeneration, etc.; pus cells and the various forms of degeneration are only the result of disorder. So long as order and harmony go on perfectly, so long the tissues are in a state of health, the metamorphosis is healthy, the tissue change is normal, the physiological state is maintained.

We can only comprehend the nature of disease, and tissue changes the result of disease, by going back to its beginning. The study of etiology in the old school is a wonderful farce; because it begins with nothing. It is an assumption that tissue changes are the disease. From the doctrines of Homoeopathy it will be seen that morbid anatomy, no matter where it occurs, must be considered to be the result of disease.

All curable diseases make themselves known to the physician by signs and symptoms. When the disease does not make itself known in signs and symptoms, and its progress is in the interior, we at once perceive that that man is in a very precarious condition. Condition of the body that are incurable are such very often as have no external signs or symptoms.

In the fourth paragraph Hahnemann says: “The physician is likewise a preserver of health if he knows the things that derange health and cause disease and how to remove them from persons in health.” If the physician believes that causes are external, if he believes that the material changes in the body are the things that disturb health, are the fundamental cause of sickness, he will undertake to remove these, e.g., he will cut off haemorrhoids or remove the tumor. But these are not objects Hahnemann means.

The objects he means are invisible and can only be known by signs and symptoms. Of course, it is quite right for the physicians to remove those things that are external to the sick man and are troubling him. These are not disease, but they are in a measure disturbing him and making him sick, aggravating his chronic miasms so that it will progress and destroy. These are outward obstacles and not the disease, but in this way man is very often rendered more susceptible to acute miasms.

The things “which keep up disease” relate more particularly to external things. There are conditions in man’s life which keep up or encourage man’s disorder. The disorder is from the interior, but many of the disturbances that aggravate the disorders are external. The cause of disorder is internal, and is of such quality that it affects the government from the interior, while the coarser things are such as can disturb more especially the body, such as improperly selected food living in damp houses, etc. It is hardly worth while to dwell upon these things, because any ordinary physician is sufficiently well versed in hygiene to remove from his patients the external obstacles.

In the fifth paragraph Hahnemann says: “Useful to the physician in assisting him to cure are the particulars of the most probable exciting cause of the acute disease, etc.” The probable exciting cause is the inflowing of the cause as an invisible, immaterial substance, which, having fastened upon the interior, flows from the very centre to the outermost of the economy, creating additional disorder. These miasms all require a given time to operate before they can affect the external man, and this time is called the prodromal stage.

This is true of psora, syphilis and sycosis and of every acute contagious disease known to man. While the influx is upon the innermost of the physical man it is not apparent. but when it begins to operate upon his nerves and tissues, affecting him in his outermost, then it becomes apparent. Each miasm produces upon the human economy its own characteristics, just as every drug produces upon the human economy its own characteristics. Hahnemann says that these must be recognized, that the homoeopathic physician must be familiar enough with disease cause, with disease manifestations and drug manifestations to be able to remove them in accordance with principles fixed and certain. There should be no hypothesis nor opinion, neither should simple experience have a place.

If the physician is dealing with acute cases he must take into consideration the nature of the case as a malady, and so also with chronic cases. It is supposed that he is conversant with the disease from having observed the symptoms of a great many cases, and is therefore able to hold before the mind the image of the disease. When he is thoroughly conversant with the very image of the sicknesses that exist upon the human race he is then prepared to study Materia Medica. All the imitations of miasms are found in drugs. There is no miasm of the human race that does not have its imitation in drugs. The animal kingdom has in itself the image of sickness, and the vegetable and mineral kingdoms in like manner, and if man were perfectly conversant with the substances of these three kingdoms he could treat the whole human race.

By application the physician must fill his mind with images that correspond to the sickness of the human race. It is being conversant with symptomatology, with the symptom images of disease, that makes one a physician. The books of the present times are defective, in that they ignore symptomatology and do not furnish us an image of the sickness, They are extensively treatises on pathology, upon heredity, with very little of the patient himself.

If we go back to earlier times, when the physician did not know so much about the microscope, when he did not examine into the cause of disease so minutely, we will find in such works as “Watson’s Practice” much better descriptions of sickness. Watson stands at the bedside and relates what his patient look like, and hence it is a grand old book for the homoeopathic physician Chambers, in his lectures at St. Mary’s Hospital, London, also relates with accuracy the appearance of the patient.

At the present time the old-school physician says:”I want to know nothing about your symptoms; take this and go to the first drug store and have it filled.” This is the state of things at the present time, a look at the tongue, a feel of the pulse, and “take this,” handling a prescription to be filled at the nearest pharmacy. Is that observing the sick? Can such a man be the guardian of the sick, when it requires time to bring out every little detail of sickness, and a nervous girl is driven off and never permitted to tell her symptoms?

Such patients have told me after an hour’s conversation and taking of symptoms: “The other doctor told me I had hysteria, that there was nothing the matter with me, that I was just nervous.” That is what modern pathology leads men to think and say. Everything and say. Everything is denied that cannot be discovered by the senses; hence this false science has crept upon us until it is a typical folly. As to the end of sickness, what sickness will do is of no great matter because by the symptoms we have perceived the nature of the illness and may safely trust to the remedy. If no remedy be applied to check the progress of the disease it may localize in the heart, lungs or kidneys, but the nature of the sickness exists in that state of disordered government expressed by signs and symptoms.

James Tyler Kent
James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) was an American physician. Prior to his involvement with homeopathy, Kent had practiced conventional medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He discovered and "converted" to homeopathy as a result of his wife's recovery from a serious ailment using homeopathic methods.
In 1881, Kent accepted a position as professor of anatomy at the Homeopathic College of Missouri, an institution with which he remained affiliated until 1888. In 1890, Kent moved to Pennsylvania to take a position as Dean of Professors at the Post-Graduate Homeopathic Medical School of Philadelphia. In 1897 Kent published his magnum opus, Repertory of the Homœopathic Materia Medica. Kent moved to Chicago in 1903, where he taught at Hahnemann Medical College.