Homoeopathy asserts that there are principles, which govern the practice of medicine. It may be said that, up till the time of Hahnemann, no principles of medicine were recognized, as even at this day in the writings and actions of the Old Schools there is a complete acknowledgment that no principles exist. The Old School declares that the practice of medicine depends entirely upon experience, upon what can be found out by giving medicines to the abandonment of the same, fully attest the sincerity of their acknowledgments and declarations.
Homoeopathy leaves Allopathy at this point, and so in this manner the great division between the two schools is affected. That there are principles Homoeopathy affirms. The Old School denies the existence of principles and with apparent reason, looking at the matter from the standpoint of their practice and methods. They deal only with ultimates, they observe only results of disease, and either deny or have no knowledge of the real nature of man, what he is, where he came from, what his quality is in sickness or in health.
They say nothing about the man except in connection with his tissues; they characterize the changes in the tissues as the disease and all there is of the disease, its beginning and its end. In effect they proclaim disease to be something that exists without a cause. They accept nothing but what can be felt with the fingers and seen with the eyes or otherwise observed through the sense, aided by improved instruments. The finger is aided by the microscope to an elongated point, and the microscopic pathological results of disease are noted and considered to be the beginning and the ending, i.e. results without anything prior to them.
That is a summary of allopathic teaching as to the nature of sickness. But homoeopathy perceives that there is something prior to these results. Every science teaches, and every investigation of a scientific character proves that everything which exists does so because of something prior to it. Only in this way can we trace and effect in a series from beginning to en and back again from the end to the beginning. By this means we arrive at a state in which we do not assume, but in which we know.
The first paragraph of the Organon will be understood by an inexperienced observer to mean one thing and by a true and experienced homoeopath to mean another.
1. “The physician’s high and only mission is to restore the sick to health, to cure as it is termed.”
No controversy will arise from a superficial reading of this statement, and until Hahnemann’s hidden meaning of the word “sick” is fully brought to view, the physician of any school will assent. The idea that one person will entertain as to the meaning of the word “sick” will be different at times from that which another will entertain. So long as it remains a matter of opinion, there will be differences of opinion, therefore the homoeopath must abandon the mere expressions of opinion. Allopathy rests on individual opinion and allopaths say that the science of medicine is based on the consensus of opinion, but that is an unworthy and unstable foundation for the science of curing the sick.
It will never be possible to establish a rational system of therapeutics until we reason from facts as they are not as they sometimes appear. Facts as they appear are expressed in the opinions of men, but facts as they are, are facts and truths from which doctrines are evolved and formulated which will interpret or unlock the kingdoms of nature in the realm of sickness or health. Therefore, beware of the opinion of men in science. Hahnemann has given us principles which we can study and advance upon. It is law that governs the world and not matters of opinion of hypotheses. We must begin by having a respect for law, for we have no starting point unless we base our propositions on law. So long as we recognize men’s statements we are in a state of change, for men and hypotheses change. Let us acknowledge the authority.
The true homoeopath, when he speaks of the sick, knows who it is that is sick, whereas the allopath does not know. The latter thinks that the house which the man lives in, which is being torn down, expresses all there is of sickness; in other words, that the tissue changes (which are only the results of disease) are all that there is of the sick man. The homoeopath observes wonderful changes resulting from potentized medicine, and being compelled to reflect he sees that crude drugs cannot heal the sick and that what changes they do effect are not real but only apparent. Modern physiology has no vital doctrine in its teaching, and therefore no basis to work upon. The doctrine of the vital force is not admitted by the teachers of physiology and, therefore, the homoeopath sees that true physiology is not yet taught, for without the vital force, without simple substance, without the internal as well as the external, there can be no cause and no relation between cause and effect.
Now what is meant by “the sick?” It is a man that is sick and to be restored to health, not his body, not the issues. You will find many people who will say, “I am sick.” They will enumerate pages of symptoms, pages of suffering. They look sick. But they tell you, “I have been to the most eminent physicians. I have had my chest examined. I have been to the neurologist. I have been to the cardiac specialist and have had my heart examined. The eye specialist has examined my eyes. I have been to the gynaecologist and have had my uterus examined”, says the woman. “I have been physically examined from head to foot, and they tell me I am not sick, I have no disease.” Many a time have I heard this story after getting three or four pages of symptoms. What does it mean? It is true if that state progresses there will be evidences of disease, i.e., evidences which the pathologist may discover by his physical examination. But at present the patient is not sick, says the learned doctor. “But what do all these symptoms mean? I do not sleep at night. I have pains and aches. My bowels do not move.”
“Oh, well, you have constipation,” That is the first thing that has been diagnosed. But do all these things exist without a cause? It would seem from one opinion that the “constipation” is the disease per se, but from another opinion it would appear to be the cause of disease; the “diagnosis” is made to apply to one as much as to the other. But this is the character of vagaries so common to Old School whims. These symptoms are but the language of nature, talking out as it were, and showing as clearly as the daylight the internal nature of the sick man or woman.
If this state progresses the lungs break down. The doctor says, “Oh, now you have consumption,” or a great change appears in the liver, and he says, “Oh, now you have fatty degeneration of the liver;” or albumen appears in the urine, and he tells the patient, “Now I am able to name your disease. You have some one of the forms of Bright’s disease.” It is nonsense to say that prior to the localization of disease, the patient is not sick. Does it not seem clear that this patient has been sick, and very sick, even from childhood? Under traditional methods it is necessary that a diagnosis be made before the treatment can be settled, but in most cases the diagnosis cannot be made until the results of disease have rendered the patient incurable.
Again, take the nervous child. It has wild dreams, twitching, restless sleep, nervous excitement, hysterical manifestations, but if we examine all the organs of the body we will find nothing the matter with them. This sickness, however, which is present, if allowed to go on uncured, will in twenty or thirty years result in tissue change; the organs will become affected and then it will be said that the body is diseased; but the individual has been sick from the beginning. It is a question whether we will start out and consider the results of disease or begin at the beginning with the causes. If we have material ideas of disease we will have material ideas of the means of cure.
If we believe an organ is sick and alone constitutes the disease, we must feel that if we could remove the organ we would cure the patient. A man has a necrotic conditions of the hand; then if we believe that only the hand is sick we would think we had cured the patient by removing his hand. Say the hand is cancerous. According to this idea it is cancerous in itself and from itself, and seeing he would later die from the cancer of his hand we would conscientiously remove the hand and so cure the patient. For an eruption on the skin we would use local means to stimulate the functions of the skin and make it heal, and believing the eruption had no cause behind it we would conscientiously think we had cured the patient. But this is the reductio ad absurdum, for nothing exists without a cause. The organs are not the man. The man is prior to the organs. From first to last is the order of sickness as well as the order of cure. From man to his organs and not from organs to the man.
Well, then who is this sick man? The tissues could not become sick unless something prior to them had been deranged and make them sick. What is there of this man that can be called the internal man? What is there that can be removed so that the whole that is physical may be left behind? We say that man dies but leaves his body behind. We dissect the body and find all of his organs. Everything that we know by the senses belongs to physical man. everything that we can feel with the fingers and see with the eyes he leaves behind.
The real sick man is prior to the sick body and we must conclude that the sick man be somewhere in that portion which is not left behind. That which is carried away is primary and that which is left behind is ultimate. We say the man feels, sees, tastes, hears, he thinks and he lives, but these are only outward manifestations of thinking and living. The man wills and understands; the cadaver does not will and does not understand; then that which takes its departure is that which knows and wills. It is that which can be changed and is prior to the body.
The combination of these two, the will and the understanding, constitute man; conjoined they make life and activity, they manufacture the body and cause all things of the body. With the will and understanding operating in order we have a healthy man. It is not our purpose to go behind the will and the understanding, to go prior to these. It is enough to say that they were created. Then man is the will and the understanding, and the house which he lives in is his body.
We must, to be scientific homoeopaths, recognize that he muscles, the nerves, the ligaments and the other parts of man’s frame are a picture and manifest to the intelligent physician the internal man. Both the dead and the living body are to be considered, not from the body to the life, but from the life to the body. If you were to describe the difference between two human faces, their character and everything you observe of their action, you would be describing scarcely more than the will. The will is expressed in the face; its result is implanted on the countenance.
Have you ever studied the face of an individual who has grown up a murderer or villain of some sort? Is there no difference between his face and that of one who has the will to do good, to live uprightly? Go down into the lowest parts of our great city and study the faces of these people. These people are night prowlers; they are up late at night studying villainy. If we inquire into it we will see that their affections are of that kind. They have the stamp upon their faces. They have evil affections and an evil face. The countenance then is expressive of the heart. Allopathic pathology recognizes nothing but man’s body. Yet one can easily confuse the allopath by asking him what man’s thought is, what man is. The homoeopath must master these things before he can perceive the nature of the cause of disease and before he can understand what cure is.
It is the sole duty of the physician to heal the sick. It is not his sole duty to heal the results of sickness, but the sickness itself. When the man himself has been restored to health, there will be restored harmony in the tissues and in the activities. Then the sole duty of the physician is to put in order the interior of the economy, i.e., the will and understanding conjoined. Tissue changes are of the body and are the results of disease. They are not the disease Hahnemann once said, “There are no diseases, but sick people,” from which it is clear that Hahnemann understood that the diseases so-called, e.g., Bright’s disease, liver disease, etc. were but the grosser forms of disease results, viz., appearances of disease. There is first disorder of government, and this proceeds from within outward until we have pathological changes in the tissues. In the practice of medicine today the idea of government is not found, and the tissue changes only are taken into account.
He who considers disease results to be the disease itself, and expects to do away with these as disease, is insane. It is an insanity in medicine, an insanity that has grown out of the milder forms of mental disorder in science, crazy whims. The bacteria are results of disease. In the course of time we will be able to show perfectly that the microscopical little fellows are not the disease cause, but that they come after, that they are scavengers accompanying the disease, and that they are perfectly harmless in every respect.
They are the outcome of the disease, are present wherever the disease is, and by the microscope it has been discovered that every pathological result has its corresponding bacteria. The Old School consider these the cause, but we will be able to show that disease cause is much more subtle than anything that can be shown by a microscope. We will be able to show you by a process of reasoning, step by step, the folly of hunting for disease cause by the implements of the senses.
In a note Hahnemann says: “The physician’s mission is not, however, to construct so-called systems, by interweaving empty speculations and hypotheses concerning the internal essential nature of the vital processes and the mode in which diseases originate in the invisible interior of the organism,” etc. We know that in the present day people are perfectly satisfied if they can find the name of the disease they are supposed to have, an idea cloaked in some wonderful technically.
An old Irishman walked into the clinic one day, and after giving his symptoms, said, “Doctor, what is the matter with me?” The physician answered, “Why, you have Nux Vomica,” that being his remedy. Whereupon the old man said, “Well, I did think I had some wonderful disease or other.” That is an outgrowth of the old- fashioned folly of naming sickness. Except in a few acute diseases no diagnosis can be made and no diagnosis need to made except that the patient is sick. The more one thinks of the name of a disease so-called the more one is beclouded in the search for a remedy, for then the mind is only upon the result of the disease, and not upon the image expressed in symptoms.
A patient of twenty-five years of age, with gravest inheritances, with twenty pages of symptoms, and with only symptoms to furnish an image of sickness, is perfectly curable if treated in time. After being treated there will be no pathological results; he will go on to old age without any tissue destruction. But that patient if not cured at that early age will take on disease results in accordance with the circumstances of his life and his inheritances.
If he is a chimney sweep he will be subject to the disease peculiar to chimney sweeps. If she is a housemaid she will be subject to the disease peculiar to housemaids, etc. That patient has the same disease he had when he was born. This array of symptoms represents the same state before the pathological conditions have been formed as after. And it is true, if he has liver disease or brain disease or any of the many tissue changes that they call disease, you must go back and procure these very symptoms before you can make a prescription. Prescribing for the results of disease causes changes in the results of disease, but not in the sickness except to hurry its progress.
We will see peculiarities running through families. In the beginning is this primary state which is presented only by signs and symptoms, and the whole family needs the same remedy or a cognate of that remedy; but in one member of the family the condition runs to cancer, in another to phthisis, etc., but all from the same common foundation. This fundamental condition which underlies the disease of the human race must be understood. Without a knowledge of this it will be impossible to understand the acute miasmatic disease, which will be considered later.
It is a well-known fact that some persons are susceptible to one thing and some to another. If an epidemic comes upon the land only a few come down with it. Why are some protected and why do others take it? These things must be settled by the doctrines of Homoeopathy. Idiosyncrasies must be accounted for. Many physicians waste their time searching after the things that make their patients sick.
The sick man will be made sick under every circumstance, where as the healthy man could live in a lazaretto. It is not the principal business of the physician to be hunting in the rivers and the cellars and examining the food we eat for the cause of disease. It is his duty to hunt out the symptoms of sickness until a remedy is found that covers the disorder. That remedy, which will produce on healthy man similar symptoms, is the master of the situation, is the necessary antidote, will overcome sickness, restore the will and understanding to order and cure the patient.
To get at the real nature of the human economy, and to lead up from that to sickness, opens out a field for investigation in a most scientific way. Sickness can be learned by the study of the provings of drugs upon the healthy economy. Hahnemann made use of the information thus obtained when he stated that the mind is the key to the man. The symptoms of the mind have been found by all his followers to be the most important symptoms in a remedy and in a sickness. Man consists in what he thinks and what he loves and there is nothing else in man. If these two grand parts of man, the will and understanding, be separated it means insanity, disorder, death.
All medicines operate upon the will and understanding first (sometimes extensively on both) affecting man in his ability to think or to will, and ultimately upon the tissues, the functions and sensations.In the study of Aurum we find the affections are most disturbed by that drug. Man’s highest possible love is for his life. Aurum so destroys this that he does not love his life, he will commit suicide. Argentum on the other hand so destroys man’s understanding that he is no longer rational; his memory is entirely ruined. So with every proved drug in the Materia Medica. We see them affecting first man’s mind, and proceeding from the mind to the physical economy, to the outermost, to the skin, the hair, the nails. If medicines are not thus studied you will have no knowledge of them that you can carry with you. The Materia Medica has been established upon this basis.
Sickness must therefore be examined by a thorough scrutiny of the elements that make up morbid changes that exist in the likeness of drug symptoms. To the extent that drugs in provings upon healthy men have brought out symptoms on animal ultimates must we study sickness with the hope of adjusting remedies to sickness in man under the law of similars. Ultimate symptoms, function symptoms, sensorium symptoms and mind symptoms are all useful and none should e overlooked. The idea of sickness in man must be formed from the idea of sickness perceived in our Materia Medica. As we perceive the nature of sickness in a drug image, so must we perceive the nature of the sickness in a human being to be healed.