Law of Similars

Law of Similars: A weaker dynamic affection is permanently extinguished in the living organism by a stronger one, if the latter (whilst differing in kind) is very similar to the former in its manifestation….

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In these paragraphs Hahnemann summaries what he has said before and points out the necessary conclusions. In doing so he proves that the only method of applying medicines profitably in disease is the homoeopathic method. We daily see that the antipathic and heteropathic methods have no tendency of permanency in their results. By these means there are effected changes in the economy and changes in the symptoms but no permanent cure, the tendency being simply to the establishment of another disease, often worse than the first, and without eradicating the first.

In this connection we might speak of the giving of morphine and purgatives. The friends of the patient plead with you to stop the pain or give something to move the bowels for the relief of the patient. You know quite well that the relief from morphine is very transient, but when you are occupying the ground of principle there is the strongest reason why a dose of morphine should never be administered. After giving morphine changes are observed which are really detrimental to the patient. The symptoms are changes, and this is always unfortunate.

The same objection applies to the giving of chloroform in labor. No woman at the present day is well enough to go through labor without some symptoms calling for a remedy. Hence, if you give chloroform in labor, you put your patient in a state in which she is unable to express the symptoms of her own condition. If, at the close of labor, she was about to give forth symptoms that would indicate to the intelligent physician what remedy she needed (perhaps to overcome a life-time of suffering) you would be deprived of knowing what the remedy was by this act of foolishness.

$26. This, depends on the following homoeopathic law of nature which was sometimes, indeed, vaguely surmised but no hitherto fully recognized, and to what is due to every real cure that has ever taken place :

A weaker dynamic affection is permanently extinguished in the living organism by a stronger one, if the latter (whilst differing in kind) is very similar to the former in its manifestation.

In this paragraph Hahnemann distinctly declares that the phenomena of cure depend entirely upon fixed law, the law of similars or the law that governs Homoeopathy. After Hahnemann had made a number of reported cures for the purpose of observing whether the cures had been made accidentally or from purpose and whether they were in accordance with the law of similars or with the principle of dissimilars.

In every instance he was able to see that the cures had been made in accordance with the law of similars, viz., that the drug which cured in each case was capable of producing symptoms similar to those which it cured. This is true in all planes, under all circumstances, and all other apparent cures are not cures but suppressions.

“A dynamic disease in the living economy of man is extinguished in a permanent manner by another that is more powerful when the latter (without being of the same species) bears a strong resemblance to it in its mode of manifesting itself.” That sentence seemed to be about the best way of expressing the law in Hahnemann’s time.

The words “more powerful,” or more intense, would afford a natural way of expressing it, but when one has lived in Homoeopathy, and has been able to perceive its inner working, the word “powerful” expresses a different thought. If we follow along the line of potentization we lose the idea of power that is manifest to an uninitiated mind. We enter the world of thought and therein learn of a different kind of power of intensity.

When we think naturally of power or intensity the mind is at once carried to the idea of intensity as in an electrical problem in which we increase the intensity by increasing the number of batteries. On the other hand, Hahnemann’s expression leads to the idea of intensity, having qualities more internal, higher, prior; i.e., in the sense of from first to last, the more internal it is the more intense, more it approaches the first substances, so that intensity as to cause means higher or more internal, higher in the sense of subtleness or fineness.

The word “powerful” then, you will please note, contains an interior thought, and that is the only way to bring the mind to realize what is meant. Powerful is actually from within and hence we potentize, going higher and higher, in order that we may reach intensity, and it is in this sense that the remedy becomes more powerful by potentization. As a matter of fact, when speaking upon the material plane, the remedy grows weaker by potentization because the material is actually reduced.

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.