The Sick

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.

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.