Every substance contains convertible stored force; in the human economy we call the process of transferring this energy into needed channels inciting a reaction, the necessity of which we take for granted.
All matter being in an oscillatory or vibratory state the gentle conversion of a given force is possible only by means of a medium having a more or less synchronous movement, the greater its divergence the more violence will accompany the process.
This law reaches all matter and applies to human dynamics, the greater the similitude of the chosen remedies the more highly must they be potentized and the less frequently can they be repeated, for we are turning the life forces back again into their old but diseased channels and do not want to do this violently, which will be the case should we give an overdose; nature always responds violently to violence.
The response desired must be estimated from the amount of energy available and the removability of the disease, although both of these factors are always variable quantities, especially the latter. We may see disease overwhelming an otherwise powerful constitution, the patient presenting only symptoms of profound prostration, as in dry cholera, or deep systemic poisoning, etc.; here it is absolutely necessary to make a correct choice and seek to liberate force repeatedly until a sharp reaction appears, similar conditions in a patient of weak vitality, i.e., low conductive powers, we may seek to correct by liberating the smallest quantity of force by means of the highest potencies, hoping to bring about a gentle reaction. The more accurate the similarity the more powerful will the liberated forces tend towards the affected areas in revealing their specific action, which must always be more evident in acute or organopathic diseases, although no affection may strictly be called organopathic, the organic tendency is only a general expression through a specific point.
This reasoning seems to show that potency power depends not so much upon the height of the attenuation as upon the vibration rate of the finished product, the latter being estimated imperfectly by the number of strokes used. Hahnemann had an inkling of this. In several places he warns against using too many strokes, seeming to think that the preparation thereby becomes too powerful (see Spigelia preface). Some have tried to hold our practice down to the comparatively low potencies. The master himself once warned against unlimited potentization, but users of the highest preparations have found an essential difference between their action and that of those to which they were supposed to correspond mathematically. An instance, Swan’s million was, I believe, computed to be about equal to the 8th centesimal; this being true his lm would be very low indeed. Actual bedside experience, however, shows the ordinary low or medium preparations to be far inferior in their action to their correspondent higher ones, granting the correctness of the calculations. Only one avenue of explanation then seems open, and that is that their power is due to the vibration rate set in action by the succussions; motions which seem capable of sudden expansion of their amplitude, as shown by the breaking of glasses by the highest potencies, which is, as you know, of frequent occurrence. The exploratory experiments of Prof. Jaeger, off Stuttgart, have not as yet borne their proper fruit. Thls is doubly regrettable and should no longer be neglected; because, forsooth, we have the law as a basic fact is no reason why its scientific support from all sides should not be cultivated and investigation of its scope undertaken.
The question of dose necessarily rests upon the relative similitude of the chosen agent; the similimum in few doses of the highest potencies calls forth all the efforts the vital force is capable of towards a palliation or cure. The similar adapted to a partial picture can be more frequently repeated, but will work a proportionately less radical cure. It frequently uncovers groups of old symptoms which it is powerless to remove; this is especially true if it be a nonantipsoric.
Dr. E. E. Case: As the switch acts upon the railroad train, so does the remedy put the vita1 force upon the right track. Then so long as it continues moving in the right direction a repetition of the remedy, or a change of remedy, does harm.
Dr. C. B. Gilbert: Dr. Hering once told me that he had taken three remedies and fastened them to the arm of a saw mill, so that they were shaken and succussed all day long without ceasing, in order to see whether there was any new power imparted to them by the process. He could not see that there was any difference in them at all. I believe that he was right. There was a machine invented by a doctor in Rochester, I do not remember his name, in which the vehicle or menstruum run in without violent fluxion or succussion. A Washington pharmacist told me that they worked finely. If this is so it seems to show that there is no virtue in the succussion other than that of mixing the drug thoroughly through the vehicle. I do not think that Dr. Case’s illustration is very good; it leaves out the rousing of energy, the stimulation of the vita1 force into vigorous action against the unfriendly influences of the disease; not until the invading force is overcome do we get the physiologica1 action of the drug.