The Sick


Dr. Kent explores Aphorism one and the need to treat the sick person as a whole, and not reduce the disease to organs and tissues. The totality of the symptoms written out carefully is all that we know of the internal nature of sickness. Then the proper administration of the similar remedy will constitute the art of healing….


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.

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.