The Whole Case (1912)


The relative time for the appearance of each symptom naturally varies with the speed of the disease. From this we reason that the earliest mental manifestations are decidedly the most important of all symptoms….


While school instruction should sharpen our wits, its trend thus far has left out most of the factors which teach us to draw out the patient, with the consequence that the young man who enters practice is at once confronted with a flood of subjective phenomena, and unless he can quickly readjust himself will fail to get the proper grasp of the subject before him. As the most prolific cause of failure is partial knowledge, the temptation to take advantage of the various weaknesses and foibles of human nature at this juncture is very great. This is doubly true of the homeopath, who should look at each case from as many angles as possible.

As we know the earliest evidences of the disease to be largely subjective, it must necessarily have a decidedly personal bias. Individuality hides itself more and more as sickness advances and becomes more objective. The more firmly disease is established the more objective are its manifestations. Hahnemann realised this perfectly, although I am not aware that he said so, but we can draw no other inference from the meaning of the Organon.

The relative time for the appearance of each symptom naturally varies with the speed of the disease. From this we reason that the earliest mental manifestations are decidedly the most important of all symptoms. If we have the acumen to detect these very early we will also soon discover that the later mental phenomena are simply variations, and that either will lead to the same remedy, which will, however, be found with increasing difficulty as the case progresses.

The getting of mental expression is greatly facilitated by allowing the mind the greatest possible play and watching the effect. It will then reveal itself to the careful observer more fully than in any other manner, particularly more so than if we try to force it, for the soul speaks the same language, clearly and simply in every race and every clime. It is, however, not an infrequent experience to find the picture of some remedy only clearly revealed after the affection in question has progressed to a considerable degree.

Sickness always flies its more important signals last, and, if we do not recognise them as they come along until it is far advanced, it is either because we have not been sharp enough to see them or we have awaited the advent of some important signal that might lead us toward a well established keynote. In other words, we have not been thorough enough in our first examination.

For the beginner our enormous collection of symptoms can have no great meaning, because, like every work of importance; its genius is largely to be read between the lines. We read sickness out of its symptoms not into them. The spirit of the text reveals the hidden power of each drug which must be grasped in order to make the best use thereof, hence, a homeopathic physician is one who follows the law of similia according to his ability.

The power of a given remedy is justly proportioned to the degree of similitude which exists between its own genius and the peculiarities of sickness; hence diagnosis holds but a secondary place, and the importance of the modalities must diminish steadily as the resemblance increases. A long symptom is more highly expressive than many short ones, and often flashes forth a soul desire or distress so naturally and decisively that we should never begrudge the labour of getting it. Most drug symptoms seem to belong to some organ or other; nausea, for instance, is mostly referred to the stomach, cramps to the muscles, etc., etc.

When, however, they seem unaccountably out of place, they should, of course, attract our attention, as this very fact puts them in the first rank. In so doing it however points out the location for which the drug in question has a particular affinity. The power which a particular drug may have over some one symptom is sometimes very great, as witness the energy with which Ipecac stops the vomiting of tubercular meningitis without affecting the course of the disease in the least. This is more than a very pronounced illustration of suppression, for it shows the particular direction in which Ipecac. acts most prominently.

C.M. Boger
Cyrus Maxwell Boger 5/ 13/ 1861 "“ 9/ 2/ 1935
Born in Western Pennsylvania, he graduated from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and subsequently Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia. He moved to Parkersburg, W. Va., in 1888, practicing there, but also consulting worldwide. He gave lectures at the Pulte Medical College in Cincinnati and taught philosophy, materia medica, and repertory at the American Foundation for Homoeopathy Postgraduate School. Boger brought BÅ“nninghausen's Characteristics and Repertory into the English Language in 1905. His publications include :
Boenninghausen's Characteristics and Repertory
Boenninghausen's Antipsorics
Boger's Diphtheria, (The Homoeopathic Therapeutics of)
A Synoptic Key of the Materia Medica, 1915
General Analysis with Card Index, 1931
Samarskite-A Proving
The Times Which Characterize the Appearance and Aggravation of the Symptoms and their Remedies