9. In the healthy condition of man, the spiritual vital force, the dynamis that animates the material body, rules with unbounded sway, and retains all parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious, vital operation, as regards both sensations and functions, so that our indwelling reason-gifted mind can freely employ this living healthy instrument for the higher purposes of our existence.
This paragraph introduces the vital principle. It would hardly seem possible that Hahnemann, in the time he lived, could say so much in a few lines. In the seventh section of the first edition of the Organon, Hahnemann wrote: “There must exist in the medicine a healing principle, the understanding has a presentiment of it, ” but after the Organon had gone through a number of editions. Hahnemann had somewhat changed, and in this work, which is the 1883 edition, he distinctly calls a unit of action in the whole organism the vital force. You get the idea from some of his expressions that the harmony itself is a force, but I do not think that Hahnemann intends to teach that way. We cannot consider the vital principle as harmony, nor harmony as principle is something that is prior to harmony. Harmony is the result of principle or law.
Hahnemann could perceive this immaterial vital principle. It was something he arrived at himself, from his own process of thinking. There was paucity of individual ideas at that time, m i.e. ideas outside of the accepted sciences, but Hahnemann thought much, and by thinking he arrived at the idea contained in this paragraph, which only appears in the last edition, “In the healthy condition of man the immaterial vital principle animates the material body.” If he had used the words “immaterial vital substance, it would have been even stronger, for you will see it to be true that it is a substance.
At the present day advanced thinkers are speaking of the fourth state of matter which is immaterial substance. We now say the solids, liquids and gases and the radiant form of matter. Substance in simple form is just as positively substance as matter in concrete form. The question then comes up for consideration and study: What is the vital force? What is its character, quality or esse?
Is it true that man only has this vital force? Is is possessed by no animal, no mineral? For a number of years there has been a continuous discussion of force as force, or power to construct. The thought that force has nothing prior to it leads man’s mind into insanity. If man can think of energy as something substantial he can better think of something substantial as having energy. When he thinks of something that has essence, has actual being, he must think of that esse as something existing and as having something which has ultimates.
He must think in a series whereby cause enters into effect and furthermore into a series of effects. If he do not do this he destroys the very nature and idea of influx and continuance. If man does not know what is continuous, if he does not realize that there are beginnings, intermediates and ends, he cannot think, for the very foundation of thought is destroyed.
What do we mean by influx? As a broad and substantial illustration let us think of a chain. What is it that holds the last link of a chain to its investment or first attachment? At once we will say the intermediate link. What is it that connects that link? Its previous link, and so on to first link and its attachment. Do we not thus see that there is one continuous dependence from the last to the first hook? Wherever that chain is separated it is as much separated as possible, and there is no longer influx from one link to the other. In the same way as soon as we commence to think of things disconnectedly we lose the power of communication between them. All things must be united or the series is broken and influx ceases.