Homoeopathy its Fundamental Principles

Hufeland says Hahnemann was the greatest chemist of his day, therefore was not in ignorance of the actual inability of the science to measure the quantity of medicine in his newly discovered healing agencies. His enemies have said he was highly educated in physics, botany, chemistry, geology, astronomy, pharmacy, etc. His greatest and last attainment was his discovery of dynamism, which has distinguished him from all men and established a Hahnemannism that will stand as long as the world stands.

They may run away with Homoeopathy and befoul it into a modern nastiness, a mongrelism, and by virtue of the might and numbers vote it to mean anything they chose, but they have no power to change Hahnemannism, which stands and must forever stand as a living truth wherever men love truth and are not afraid to speak their true convictions. I do not favor isms; but, Mr. President, in this case our only safety is to stand by this one for the simple reason that when any other name has become popular it will be stolen as the honored name of Homoeopathy has been stolen, and is no longer an expression of the doctrines of Hahnemann and its most conspicuous representatives who do not make use of his methods. If an inquiring allopath seek information of one of these modern representatives, he will learn nothing of the teachings of Hahnemann. Why is this? Simply because the colleges have not taught the sixteenth section of the primary work, but have placed them at work with the advanced course, which is never learned without the primer. Where have we such a parallel in other sciences? One of the conditions necessary to the successful perpetuation of this science is knowledge of its first principles and how to teach them. Let us now proceed to inspect the various editions of this Organon, and we see what a careful man our author was. He was not a man to adopt a theory of others before having thoroughly tested it and having observed the facts upon which the theory was based. Everywhere we see originality of thought, firmness, great power of observation, comparison, and most wonderful reasoning. Metaphysical speculation was repulsive to him, which he carefully avoided in the first edition of the Organon, which was published in 1810. He was eminently practical in all that he said and did. Thus, you will search in vain in all the first four editions of the Organon for the term and idea of the vital force. He only spoke of the interior of the organism. In the seventh section of the first edition: “There must exist in the medicine a healing principle; the understanding has a presentation of it, but its essence is not recognizable by us in any way, only its utterances and actions can be known by experience.” Twenty-three years later, when seventy-eight years old, in the fifth edition, published in 1833, in the ninth and tenth sections, he distinctly calls a unit of action in the whole organism of the vital force. From this it is evident Hahnemann arrived at this conclusion after a long and practical experience, inasmuch as he was led up to it by his early perception of the similar vital principle contained in the medicine (see first ed., fifth section), which is only recognized by its action upon the organism. I have shown you that it was not metaphysical speculation that led the master to the idea of the vital dynamis, but a long series of practical and experimental research.

If we would think for ourselves, let us inspect some of the facts that relate to general medicine and see if we can answer some of the questions that are propounded, and then revert to the vital dynamism. We read in the time-honored textbooks that there is such a condition of the human body known as diathesis-in fact, several of them; again, that these diatheses are hereditary and predispose to disease. What is this diathesis out of which grow so many diseases? In one subject comes cancer; in another insanity; in another tuberculosis; and in another epilepsy, or Bright’s disease, or Hodgekin’s disease. What is the strumous diathesis? What is this state of bad feeling that precedes any fixed organic change that locates in an organ? Can it be that this latent wrong in the vital power is not worthy of consideration? Can it be that the kidney can take on structural change and become waxy without cause? You must say, No! What is the cause of this lesion, and why do not these named exciting causes always produce the same results, and why does not every person subjected to these exciting causes become afflicted with waxed kidneys? You answer because there is a predisposing, determining influence at work. Yes, the diathesis. But the diathesis has no foundation in fact, only a thing of imagination. A convenient explanation of unknown things; a figure-head in the text-books, out of which we have had no benefit, and learned no lesson from the old school, whose literature has so wisely furnished us with a meaningless lot of terms.

We read of the weakness, of the dropsy, etc., etc., coming from Bright’s disease, but we do not read of the pre-historic symptoms; are they of no value? Are they not present? Yes, they are present. Then what are they? We read of exciting and predisposing cases but we do not read why a similar combination of exciting and predisposing causes is not always followed by Bright’s disease. We have a right to ask this of a system of medicine that claims scientific attention and public patronage. Another example, if you please, we read of a self-limited disease called scarlatina (scarlet fever). Any allopathist will warm up in opposition if you tell him that scarlet fever is not a self-limited disease. If it be a self-limited disease it must result in resolution or death; the child must recover by statute of limitation, or-die. They do not all die; some are left even under old-school treatment to tell the tale. From these we learn that ear-discharges are the result of scarlatina. This otorrhoea is not a part of scarlatina-as according to accepted teaching-the disease is self- limited. The child was a picture of health before the scarlatina: then, what is this new trouble? Specialists treat the otorrhoea as if it were a new disease per se; if so, whence has it come and what is the nature of it? A novice can tell you a long name and affirm that it is catarrhal; but that is not satisfactory. Where did it come from? Did it come spontaneously, or was it the result of some latent wrong in the vital dynamis? I say in the dynamis, as there was no tissue change before, and the scarlatina has long gone. We do not know that this new trouble is essentially chronic; and that in scarlet fever there is no chronic element. Now, has this sore ear simply developed this, a propitious time? Has the scarlatina so weakened the mucous membrane of the aural tubes that they become the favorite sites for the expression of a something that the disease when badly treated has aroused into action? I say when badly treated, because when the disease is properly treated, otorrhoea does not follow. I no longer see such troubles, and have not had them since I have been able to recognize their true nature. What is this something that may exist for years in a latent state- be handed down from generation to generation, and come to view at any time and cause chronic troubles to follow self-limited diseases? We have a right to a civil answer to a question of this kind. If a vital wrong is capable of existing for years in an invisible state outside of the tissues, there must be some invisible precinct that stores it or it does not exist. Can it now be doubted that a disease may exist for years with or without a morbid anatomy? Rokitansky says scrofula has no morbid anatomy. To be logical, according to the material school, there is no scrofula and no stroma; that scrofulous manifestations have no cause, and consequently no reality. Why do not all injuries of the synovial membranes of the iliofemoral articulation result in hip-joint disease? Why do some abscesses close with the evacuation of pus, and others form sinuses and fistulae. Look where you may in literature other than Hahnemannian, and you will find mere speculation, theory, and no practical deduction.

Hahnemann describes three constitutional miasms that may exist in latency, that develop and progress in the vital “dynamis without” changing the tissues that may spring into destructive activity and attack organs and give shape to countless lesions called disease; that these miasms should be recognized as primary wrongs out of which grow incurable maladies, and all structural changes. Shall we learn a lesson from these reflections, or shall we pass them as mere theories? Hahnemann teaches the nature of these miasms; it is not my province to discuss them, but to simply call them up as the essentials to the complete study of the sixteenth section. The questions to be an answered from all these are:

First. Have we such a condition as an invisible immaterial disease?

Second. If so, are all diseases of the same nature, and

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.