*Read before I. H. A., Bureau of Materia Medica, June 22, 1934
Our old, brutal materialism seems to be slowly melting away, gradually merging into
what a clearer light shows to be action, reciprocal on every plane; even medicine is not
escaping the metamorphosis. The power of nature which demonstrates the survival of the
fittest is being transformed into another phase wherein its contained good is made to grow
at the expense of that which is not quite so good.
Early medicine did much groping about until the later Renaissance opened up even
the doctors’ minds to the hidden treasures of the past as well as excited their curiosity into
turning them into newer paths.
Such a background helps us to understand how the spirit which animated Hahnemann
finally led him into researches of which we today are the beneficiaries. Whether we shall
continue to deserve the legacy must rest with every individual conscience. Let it not be
inferred that a mind capable of bringing to the light of day such an ethereal concept of
vital action, must necessarily also inaugurate s irresistible reform. The thinking processes
of an eminently conservative profession are far too Darwinian for that. We must
remember that a concept having the form of finality is moribund from its inception.
In the very year of my graduation Madam Blavatsky laid down the postulate that “the
essence of life is consubstantial with electricity”. We are only now beginning to fully
realise how true this is. She further said that before the end of the nineteenth century new
discoveries would upset the dicta of science. It was left to the role of our own Madam
Curie to fulfill this prophesy. How well she did it we realise more and more every day.
Truly the destructive power of radium is not limited to malignancies by any means, and
by the strongest of inferences we must admit that the developments of physics have rung
the death knell of crude drugging as well as brought general medicine face to face with
Hahnemann’s experiments and their consequences. It only remains to be seen whether
general enlightenment or medical progress will force the issue. The axe has been laid at
the tree of preconception and purely materialistic reasoning.
In order to correctly sense the sharpness of his tools the physician must needs have a
just comprehension of the physics of life especially as implied in the philosophy of the
Organon. He will then realise that Similia Similibus Curantur is a phase of the law of
action and reaction on a higher plane. It is an extension into the superphysical where
stabilisation occurs, as here, through the conversion of energy. In other words health can
not be regained until harmony in the expenditure of vital energy again prevails. lt is now
beyond cavil that harmony can only be established through the contact of a synchronously
acting or vibrating force. Manifestly this must be made through the nerve channels.
It is perhaps not too much to infer that this vital force must be of a fluidic nature and
at present perhaps still superphysical, al-though we are confessedly on its borderland now.
It is also interpenetrative in that its effects are practically not only local but general at the
same moment. This conception of its action explains how it comes about that amelioration
is felt in the mind first, and progresses as long as no mental revulsion occurs. The first
intimation that the remedial response is beginning to slacken comes through mental
The experience of much prescribing often causes one to settle upon the use of only a
few drugs or at the best into choosing the more promising one from a rather small group.
It is a loose and easy way that neglects the minority indications, therefore is less precise
and efficient. It smacks of indolence and lack of mental agility, reminding one that
versatility is not acquired here any more easily than elsewhere.
We are daily confronted with atypical cases that make the careful assembling of all of
their symptoms.very important if we wish to obtain a clear image for which a counterpart
is to be sought among our provings. For this purpose we first search the repertory and
then compare the actual provings until convinced of their similarity. At present it is the
only feasible method, but it is surprising how few men really know how to go about doing
it well. Repeated practice, however, soon makes for skill, particularly in evaluating
symptoms, which is, after all, exceedingly important as well as has considerable value in
prognosis. Over stressing single symptoms or the wrong one easily leads to one-sided
prescribing, palliation and ultimate confusion. The whole picture with certain outstanding
points is the ideal to be sought for, if we wish to succeed.