Simple Substance


Simple Substance is concept given by Kent which is similar to, but greater than the concept of Vital Force given by Hahnemann. The simple substance gives to everything its own type of life, gives it distinction, gives it identity whereby it differs from all other things….


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.

Again, we see that man exists as to his body, but as yet we do not see all the finer purposes of his being.

To believe that man exists without a cause, to believe that his life force goes on for a while and does not exist from something prior to it, to think that there is not constantly and continuously that influx from cause whereby he continues to live, demonstrates that the man who does so is an irrational being. From his senses man has never been able to prove that anything can exist except it has continually flowing into it that which holds it in continuance. Then why should he, when he goes into the immaterial world, assume that energy is the first? We shall find by a continued examination of the question of simple substance that we have some reason for saying that energy is not energy per se, but that it is a powerful substance, and is endowed from intelligence that is of itself a substance.

The materialist to be consistent with his principles is obliged to deny the soul, and to deny a substantial God, because the energy which he dwells upon so much is nothing, and he must assume that God is nothing and therefore there is none. But the one who is rational will be led to see that there is a supreme God, that He is substantial, that He is a substance. Everything proceeds from him and the whole series from the supreme to the most ultimate matter in this way is connected. Just as surely as there is a separation, and not a continuous influx from first to last, ultimates will cease to exist.

The true holding together of the material world is performed by the simple substance. There are two worlds that come apparently to the mind of man, the world of thought and the world of matter; that is, the world of immaterial substance and the world of material substance. The world of material substance is in order and harmony. Everything that appears before the eye has beginnings. The forms are harmonious; every crystal of a metal crystallizes in accordance with order; man’s very anatomy forms harmoniously.

We see nothing in the material world to account for this, but we perceive that all things are held in position because of the continuous influx from first to last. There is no break in the chain and no break in the flow of power from first to last. Nothing can exist unless its cause be inflowing into it continuously. We see that all things made by man’ hand decay and fall to pieces in time, but look at the things perpetuated from influx, look at their order and harmony form time to eternity, working by the same plan and in the same order.

There are many qualities predicated of simple substance, and one of the first propositions we have to consider is that simple substance is endowed with formative intelligence, i.e. it intelligently operates and forms the economy of the whole animal vegetable and mineral kingdoms. Everything with form goes on its natural course and assumes and continues its own privates state. The laws of chemistry by analysis may be so revealed to man that he can detect all elements because they conduct themselves uniformly.

The simple substance gives to everything its own type of life, gives it distinction, gives it identity whereby it differs from all other things. The crystal of the earth has its own association its own identity; it is endowed with a simple substance that will establish its identity from everything in the animal kingdom, every thing in the mineral kingdom. This is due to the formative intelligence of simple substance, which is continuous from its beginning to its end. If we examine the frost work upon the window we se its tendency to manifest formative intelligence. Plants grow in fixed forms. So it is with man from his beginning to his end; there is continuous influx into man from his cause. Hence man and all forms are subject to the laws of influx. If man is in the highest order and is rational, he wills to keep himself in continuous order that his thoughts may continue rational; but he is so placed in freedom that he can also destroy his rationality.

This substance is subject to changes in other words, it may be flowing in order or disorder, may be sick or normal; and the changes to a great extent may be observed or even created by man himself. Man may cause it to flow in disorder.

Any simple substances may pervade the entire material substance without disturbing or replacing it. Magnetism may occupy a substance and not displace any of it nor cause derangement of its particles or crystals. Cohesions is a simple substance; it is not the purpose of cohesion to disturb or displace the substance that it occupies. Therefore this first substance, or primitive substances, exists as such in all distinct forms of growths of concrete forms, and the material, concrete, individual entity is not disturbed or displaced by the simple substance; the simple substance is capable of occupying the material substance without accident to that substance or to itself.

When the simple substance is an active substance it dominates and controls the body it occupies. It is the cause of force. The body does not move, think or act unless it has its interior degrees of immaterial substances, which acts upon the economy continuously in the most beautiful manner, but as soon as the body is separated from its characterizing simple substance there is a cessation of influx. The energy derived from the simple substances keeps all things in order. By it are kept in order all functions, and the perpetuation of the forms and proportions of every animal, plant and mineral. All operation that is possible is due to the simple. substance, and by it the very universe itself is kept in order. It not only operates every material substance, but it the cause of cooperation of all things.

Examine the universe and behold the stars, the sun and the moon; they do not interfere with each other, they are kept in continuous order. Everything is in harmony and is kept so by the simple substance. We see co-operation in every degree, and this co-operation working in perfect harmony we wee human beings moving about, we see things going on about us on the earth; we see the trees of the forest making room for each other, existing in perfect harmony;the very sounds of the forest have harmony; and all this co-ordination is brought about by the simple substance.

There is nothing more wonderful than the co- ordination of man’s economy, his will and his understanding and his movements, which co-ordination is carried on by the life substance. Without this all matter is dead and cannot be used for the higher purposes of its existence. By the aid of simple substance the Divine Creator is able to use all created beings and forms for their highest purpose.

Matter is subject to reduction, and it can be continuously reduced until it is in the form of simple substance, but it is not subject to restitution. No substance can be returned to its ultimate form after it has been reduced to its primitive form. It is not in the power of man to change from first to last: tat is, it is not in his power to ultimate the simple substance. This is retained for the Supreme Power Himself, from whom power continually flows through all the primitive substance to the end; i.e., to ultimates.

Now do you begin to see that the thing that does not start from its beginning with a purpose is not a thing, or, to put it another way, what makes anything a thing is because of its purpose or ultimate which is use, and there is never created a thing without a purpose. If it does not exit in continuous series from first to last it cannot be of use or of purpose; hence the end is in the first, and the end is in every succeeding link to its ultimate, the every form in which the uses is to be appropriated and established. When you establish the first link in the chain you have the end of the next link in view.

The simple substances may exist as simple, compound or complex, and as such never disturb harmony, but always continue from first to last and in that way all purposes are conserved. Throughout chemistry we can observe this compounding. We find Iod uniting with its base; i.e. two simple substances compound or in keeping, with their own individual plan, reliably and intelligently in accordance with the affinities for each other. When substances come together in that way they do not disturb the simple substance of each other, their is nothing destroyed, each one retains its own identity, and they can be reduced again to their simples by reaction and reagents.

Now all of these enter into the human body and every element in the human body preserves its identity throughout and wherever found can be identified. Such combination, however, merely represents a composite state. But when these composite substances and simple substances are brought into an additional condition; i.e. when they are presided over and dominated by something they may be said to enter into a very complex form, and in the body a life force keeps every other force in order.

Dynamic simple substances often dominate each other in proportion to their purpose, one having a higher purpose than another. This vital force, which is a simple substance, is again dominated by another simple substance still higher, which is the soul. It has been the aim of a great many philosophers by study to arrive at some conclusion concerning the soul. They have attempted to locate it at some particular point, but we can see from the above that it is not in circumscribed location.

In considering simple substance we cannot think of time, place or space, because we are not in the realm of mathematics nor the restricted measurements of the world of space and time, we are in the realm, m of simple substance. It is only finite to think of place and time. Quantity cannot be predicated of simple substance, only quality in degrees of fineness. We will see the importance of this in its special relation to Homoeopathy, by using an illustration. When you have administered Sulphur 55 m. in infrequent doses and find it will not work any longer you give the c.m. potency and see the curative action taken up at once. Do we not see by this that we have entered a new series of degree and are dealing entirely with quality?

The simple substance also has adaptation. At this point man’s reasoning comes up, leading to false conclusions from appearances, so that he has accepted what is called the environment theory. That the individual has an adaptation to his environment is not questioned, but what is that adapts itself to environment? The dead body cannot. When we reason from within out we see that the simple substance adapts itself to its surroundings, and tends to adapt its house to the surroundings, and thus the human body is kept in a state of order, the cold or in the heat, in the wet and damp, and under all circumstances The surroundings themselves produce nothing, are not causes, they are only circumstances

The life substances within the body is the viceregent of the soul, and the soul in turn is also a simple substance. All that there is of the soul operates and exists within every part of the human body, and thus it is that simple substance acts as a vital force. The soul adapts the human body to all its purposes, the higher purposes of its being. the simple substance when it exists in the living human body keeps that body animated, keeps it moving, perfects its uses, superintends all parts and at the same time keeps the operation of mind and will in over. Let any disturbances occur in the vital substance and we see how suddenly inco-ordination will come. There is harmonious co-operation when the vital substance is continued in its normal quality; that is, in health what in more perfect than the human body in health, and what evidence have we of any greater wreck than the human body when it is not in health?

We see also that this vital substance when in a natural state when in contact with the human body, is constrictive: it keeps the body continuously constructed and reconstructed. But when the opposite is true, when the vital force any cayuse withdraws from the body, we see that the forces that are in the body being turned loose are destructive. When these forces are not dominated and controlled by the vital force the body tends to decay at once. So wee se that the vital force is constructive or formative, and in its absence there is death and destruction.

If we examine the very simplest form of living organism the Pliocene body, we will observe that it has the essentials of life, had everything in it that the very highest order of life has; it has the properties and qualities of the life substance of man and animals; it reproduces itself, it moves, it feeds, it is endowed with influx, and, lastly, it can be killed. Now when you have said these things, you have predicated much of the vital substance, or the highest and of the lowest. It asserts its identity; moves and feeds; it propagates and can be killed. It does not sustain its identity by chemical analysis, because when it is chemically analyzed it is no longer protoplasm. Protoplasm is only protoplasm when it is living. Chemically, all there is to be found of protoplasm is C.O.H.N. and S., but the life substance cannot be found.

You put together 54 parts of C., 21 of O., 16 of N., 7 of H., and 2 of S., and what do you suppose you will have? Simply a composite something, ‘but not that complexity which we identify as protoplasm. In analyzing the protoplasm, what has become of the life force? There is no difference in weight after death; the simple substance cannot be weighted. Neither weight, time nor space can be predicated of the simple substance, and it is not subject to the physical laws, such as gravitation.

Now, when we consider this substance as an energy, a force, or dynamis,-that is, something possessing power,-the subject is intelligible, Inert elements have in their nature not only their own identifying simple substance, but they have degrees of this identifying simple substance. The human body also has its degree of life substance, existing in degrees suitable for all its uses. The innermost degrees of life substances are suitable to the will and understanding, the outermost degrees to the very coarsest tissue, and their is one continuous series of quality, in degrees from the innermost, because their is nothing in that which is coarsest but has that which is finest, too.

The outermost envelopes are dominated by the coarser degrees of simple substance, and the innermost qualities are dominated by the innermost degrees. Each portion has an appropriate form and from the outermost of the innermost it has all. Otherwise the human body could not be dominated or ruled by the soul. Each tissue has within it its portion of the vital substance, each having its own peculiar kind of function. Inert substances have their own degrees. Silica has its degrees of simple substance within it, which can be brought out by the process of potentization, whereby it may be continuously simplified. rendered finer and finer, so that each portion which remains may, by continued potentization, be adapted to the higher degrees of the simple substance of man.

The thirtieth potency of Silica will be sufficiently similar in form to reach in a curative way some of the diseases of man, viz. such as are dominating his economy in a correspondingly superficial and coarse series of the body. But it is true that Silica ceases after a tune top act in the thirtieth potency and it has to be further potentized in order that it may be similar in quantity to eye inner degrees, even until it reaches the very inner most or finest degrees of the simple substance.

Everything in the universe has its aura or atmosphere. Every star and planet has an atmosphere. The sun’s atmosphere is its light and heat. Every human being has his atmosphere or aura; every animal has its atmosphere or aura. The aura is present in all entities. What may be said to be the aura of musk? That is a strong physical aura which almost everyone can perceive. A grain of wask has been kept for experiment’s sake, in a bottle for seventeen years, giving off a perceptible aura yet without loss of weight.; As a further evidence of aura, take, for instance, the animals which prey upon their food and you know that the can discover by an extremely intense aura states that man cannot discover., This is not an ordinary nose, but it is really the very instinct of the animal, whereby he perceives what is prey. His instinct is analogous to man’s perception, and by this instinct he discovers his prey, when man would not be able to discover it. Man can discover musk in a bottle, but it is doubtful of man could discover the finest aura by its odor. This aura becomes useful and introduces a prominent sphere in the study of homoeopathics.

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.