Homoeopathy its Fundamental Principles

Third. Is it rational to attempt to nullify a disease of immaterial nature by material substances.

Hahnemann’s early deduction was that disease, being of an immaterial nature, could develop only on a similar basis or in a similar sphere, when in contact with a similar quality of force; and to again reach it curatively, a force must be found equally as immaterial.

The mystery of the vital force for all practical purposes in the healing art has been solved by the immortal Hahnemann, and named the vital dynamis. His deductions are summed up in the sixteenth section. This section furnished the key stone to the doctrines of Hahnemannism, and without which the great arch must flatten and collapse; without this finishing doctrine his followers would be where all are who have rejected it-floundering in the mire of uncertainty and floating in the swift and muddy rivers of guesswork and disappointment. The study of the sixteenth section clearly sums up what the great Philosopher believed disease to be. Let us enter this wilderness and see where we are directed. If we accept the teachings we must admit that (the results of disease) lesions, tissue changes, cannot be considered as primary expressions of disease, but as a consequence. The molecular, vibrations or vital activities, are a warning that a continuance of the expressions of wrong life must mean progressive death. To consider life in the sense that Hahnemann looked upon it, as normal activities within the organism, and we must then look upon these normal activities changed by cause to be the abnormal, which is disease. The only evidence of disease are the definite, expressions that deviate from the normal, which we choose to denominate the language of the vital wrong (section 7), “Hence, the totality of these symptoms, this outwardly reflected image of the inner nature of the disease, i.e., of the suffering vital force. Localization is at all times a secondary state or the result of disease, while changed feelings are the primary manifestations. The primary or changed feeling often escapes observation, as in a gonorrhoea; but the disease has been pervading the economy for a period of eight days, and the localization finally appears as a discharge. The same is true of all contagious diseases, and as far as is known, of every disease. If we look upon disease with any other view and consider it per se when it localizes itself, and then search for a name to fit it, by virtue of its morbid anatomy, or its location, we trace it to its observable beginning, and as though it had no cause, and study it in relation to changed cells as a something with only an ending but with no beginning. But when looking at all tissue changes as the result of disease, we are in position to inquire: What is the disease proper? This guides into the pre-historic state when there were no tissue changes, and yet there will be found ample expressions to convince us that all was not perfect in the invisible vital kingdom, and the scalpel has not been directed. Then it is with this pre-historic state, these vital activities, that we have to deal. Before the change of tissue has occurred there must have been a cause of morbid vibrations-a condition of morbid vital activities, or cell-changes could not have been wrought. What is the nature of that state or condition that existed before the tissues and cells changed their shape? There must be two, the right and the wrong; the former the correct life function known by the absence of all subjective sensations a feeling of bodily comfort and ease; and the latter by the presence of subjective morbid feelings. The former is known as health, and the latter as sickness or disease. These cannot be measured as a quantitative influence, as the cause is only qualitative in itself, and its results are but a perversion of a proper force. It will be as difficult to demonstrate that quantitative influence is necessary to produce vital changes as to demonstrate that there is a measurable quantity in noxious forces so hurtful to man. Therefore, we may conclude that causes purely qualitative act destructively. We now have the right to assume that all vital changes primarily are only qualitative in the sense of misapplied force, and that these morbid vibrations are the disease, and all there is of disease per se.

Now, we may assume that life is a dynamis capable of perpetuating its own identity when the medium through which it acts it not destroyed or impaired. Again, to act upon the dynamis and not disturb the medium there must be force brought in relation with the vital force equally as qualitative and as free from quantitative consideration. It hardly needs further demonstration to show that this vital perversion is possible, but we observe daily the wrong feelings that have been known to exist for years without quantitative changes or localization. Thus have we arrived at Hahnemann’s conclusion? But now we glean that if an equally subtle dynamis is necessary to cause disease and disturb the harmonious relations of the vital activities-and it is admitted that the Law of Similars expresses the curative relation and the only law of the kind known to man-must we not conclude that this curative power or force, to be a corrective principle, must be equally qualitative and subtle with the life-principle, with the disease cause, with the disease itself? The vital affinity cannot appear between forces of foreign relations; they must be similar in quality and devoid of quantity. Power used in the sense of overpowering an antagonist has no place in the science of homoeopathics, but it is a consideration of a given force deranged or perverted to be simply harmonized and restored to equilibrium.

It will at once be observed that a surplus of force is impossible only as a surplus in a qualitative relation, which has no part in the similitude of a purely qualitative problem. To attain the highest degree of similitude, not the quantity of a given power, is the aim. The similar is quality with similar expressions of activity in the sine qua non, as we have demonstrated, that there is no quantity necessary in the consideration. Therefore, if this be only a spirit-like dynamis- and I believe the demonstration is clear-all of the quantity taken or made use of must be that much more than similar-therefore, unlike- and that much more than the demand to restore equilibrium; in other words, contrary and in no relation curative. Not in any sense restorative, but, on the contrary, retarding the return to normal vibration by impairing the medium through which the vital dynamis must operate. In relation to cure, it has so often been said by the master there was yet too much medicine to cure. The dose is yet too large to cure. The use of the term quantity conveys the idea of strength, which has no part in any homoeopathic sense as related to a curative agency. To reduce remedial agents to primitive identity of a qualitative character only that they may act through the new medium, is the aim of the true healer. Not until they are divested of their own media can they be quickly corrective or be active in any sense as similar agencies.

This view may appear to oppose some statements of Hahnemann. In section 45, “The stronger disease will overcome the weaker one. “This is only apparent. The two diseases, being partially similar, overcome each other only in part; but the part of the one overcome only in part reproduces itself and runs its course unmolested.” In section 34, “For it is by virtue of the similitude, combined with greater intensity.” This statement may be correct; but I believe it to be only apparent, and that the similitude is the only necessary demand for the destruction of both, or, rather, the correction of the wrong in the dynamis or spirit-like vital force. There being no entity, there can be nothing to overpower-only a perverted effort to be corrected. Any disease will subside apparently by natural decline when met by a noxious influence of similar dynamis of sick-making possibilities, regardless of intensity. This view strengthens the Law of Similars and is in harmony with immaterial activities. It is not adding a new force, but applying a force to correct a perverted life-principle.

The noxious, disease-producing influences have nothing in common with material agencies. When so crude that they can be seen and manipulated, they are feeble sickmaking agencies. (The skeptical experimenters, in provings made with attenuations, forgot that a special predisposition is frequently necessary for contagion, and that this predisposition cannot be made to order, but must be utilized when found, which affords a propitious opportunity for the pure experiment through which we discover the sick-making power of drugs). (Section 31). The dangerous and most noxious agencies are of the unknown. The most astute have failed to find the cholera or yellow fever causes. The cause of small-pox is yet unknown. The subtle influence that in one stroke swoops down upon a village is not measurable by our crude senses. The smallpox poison, when attenuated with millions of volumes of atmospheric air, comes to the surface through the mails and through old clothing by inhalation and the slightest contact. The impression wrought upon this spirit-like dynamis accumulates until the medium is threatened with destruction-all from a simple perverted life- force.

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.