Dr. Roberts’s discussion on “Knowledge of medicine”…

*** IN our thesis that homoeopathy is fundamental, that it is scientific and that it is based on natural law, we have quoted findings from other branches of pure science that have been so uniform and constant as to definitely point the way toward underlying laws. These, to recapitulate briefly, were from astronomy, mathematics and biology, and have been compared with the closely similar findings of the action of drugs and their application (1) in states of health to produce, artificially, conditions simulating disease, or (2) to restore diseased states to the normal balance of health.

Let us consider once more some of our deductions set forth in former chapters on “Vital Energy”, and particularly in that chapter on “Vital Energy”, in its Universal Application”. That we may have it before us for examination in comparing our deductions from other branches of scientific investigation with our study of the natural laws underlying the principles adapted for use in the science of healing known as homoeopathy, we shall quote from these chapters :

These substances (capable of being raised by potentization) are derived from three kingdoms, mineral, vegetable and animal. We cannot definitely say that the mineral substances in themselves possess vital energy, but they are fragments of that which composes the planet, Earth, and that planet either possesses some form of vital energy in itself or is susceptible to being activated by vital energy to such as extent that it performs its appointed movements according to the law; and we can use these minerals, by proper preparation, in the form of vital energy, not to perpetuate life but to influence it on all three planes of body, mind and spirit, that the vital energy of the individual may be thereby guarded against decay and death….

We recognize the presence of vital energy in vegetable growth, for it is evidenced in growth and development on the plant, according to the natural law of development….

We comprehend most easily the animation, the presence of vital energy, in the animal kingdom….

It is quite the province of the homoeopathic physician, especially if he believes that homoeopathy is based on the fundamental principles underlying all elemental construction and development, to attempt to understand something of the basis of the elements with which he has to deal, both in states of sickness and in health. This implies a knowledge of drugs, not only their action but their derivation, and this not in superficial terms, but in terms of basic derivation and inter- relation with universal construction. This deals with physics in a very definite way, and in a much deeper, more constructive and significant way than we usually consider.

In his little book, *Science and the New Civilization, Millikan gives us some valuable hints in his chapter on “Available Energy” His statement in this chapter is that:

All knowledge that helps towards an understanding of the nature of the universe of which we are a part is useful, for we need very much more of it than we now have, or shall have for centuries to come, to enable us to direct our energies towards wise, effective living instead of wasting them on beating tomtoms, inventing perpetual motion machines, or chasing either physical or social rainbows.

If it be wise for the average person to direct their energies toward an understanding of things about them, how much more is it the province of him who is entrusted with the care of others through the use of drugs, built up and potentized out of the elements!

Let us consider further some of Dr. Millikan’s statements in this chapter, and their bearing on our specialty.

It is interesting and a very important fact from the practical viewpoint, too, that more than ninety-five per cent. of this universe, so far as we can now see, is made up of a very few elements.

*First. The spectroscopy of the heavens shows the enormous prevalence everywhere of hydrogen, but hydrogen is merely the primordial positive and negative electrons tied together, or in process of being so tied.

*Second. The spectroscopy of the heavens also shows that helium is an exceptionally abundant, and a widely distributed, element, even though, because of its lightness and inability to combine with anything, even with itself, the earth has not retained much of it. Significant is it, however, that the alpha particle given off by all the heavy radioactive elements is nothing but helium, so that it must have a certain prevalence even on earth in the structure of the heavier elements.

*Third. Dr. ***I. S. Bowen, at the California Institute, solved, with consummate skill, the half-century-old riddle of “nebulium”, and has shown that the substance abundant throughout the heavens, giving rise to these mysterious spectral lines, is mainly oxygen and nitrogen. But oxygen alone constitutes 55 per cent. of the earth’s crust, and about the same proportion of meteorites. Oxygen and nitrogen, then, which for our present purpose will be treated as one element, since they have nearly the same atomic weight and will be henceforth listed under the name of the stronger brother, constitute the third extraordinarily abundant element and it is to be noted that there are no abundant elements at all between helium and oxygen. Carbon has a certain minor prevalence, but because of its nearness in atomic weight to nitrogen and oxygen it may here be treated as merely a feeble satellite to oxygen.

*Fourth. Ninety-five per cent. of weight of all meteorites consists of oxygen (54 per cent.), magnesium (13 per cent.), silicon (15 per cent). and iron (13 per cent.), while 76 pr cent. of the earth’s crust is composed of the three elements, oxygen (55 per cent.), silicon (16 per cent.), and aluminium (5 per cent)., no other element rising over 2 per cent. Iron constitutes 1.5 per cent. of the crust, but it is supposed to be very largely represented in the interior. Because of the closeness of their atomic weight, magnesium, aluminium and silicon (24, 27, 28) may, for our present purpose, be regarded as a single element and given the name of the strongest brother, silicon. There are then no abundant elements whatever between oxygen and silicon, nor between silicon and iron (atomic weight 56), and from an *engineering standpoint the universe may be said to be made up of the primordial positive and negative electrons, and of four *elements built out of them, namely, helium, oxygen, silicon and iron.

… Mankind, if he is here a billion years hence, will be satisfying his main needs, as he satisfies them now, with the four elements, hydrogen, oxygen, silicon and iron, *i.e. with water, air, earth and Fe, where the last symbol stands for iron rather then for fire, which was the fourth constituent of the world of the ancients.

To comprehend the action of our remedies it is well to look somewhat to the sources from which our remedies are derived and to weigh their possible activity in their natural state.

We regard the sources of drugs lying in three distinct groups– animal, vegetable, and mineral; or we may make two classifications and say living and non-living.

Sir ***J. C. Bose, in his *Plant Autographs and Their Revelations, writes :

Do not the two sets of records of the living and non-living tell us of some property of matter common and persistent? Do they now show us that the same kind of molecular upset on stimulation occurs on both inorganic and the living–that the physiological is closely connected with the physical–that there is no abrupt break, but a uniform march of law? The dust particle and the earth, the plant and the animal, are all sensitive. Thus, with an enlarged cosmic sense, we may regard the million orbs and thread their path through space, as something akin to organisms, having a definite history of their past and an evolutionary progress for their future.

And again :

In pursuing investigations on the border region of physics and physiology, I was amazed to find boundary line vanishing and points of contact emerge between the realms of the Living and Non-living. Metals are found to respond to stimuli; they are subject to fatigue, stimulated by certain drugs and “killed” by poisons.

For the purpose of convenience, however, we may divide drugs or substances from which homoeopathic medications are prepared, into the three classes of animal, vegetable, and mineral (or elements).

We expect to find the highest form of living activity in animals. We have been taught to expect strong reaction to the various forms of defence of individual species of animal life. Thus, we find the venom of snakes has a deep action on other forms of animal life. We deduce that even when venom is prepared in minute doses, it will also have a strong reaction on animal life. reaction on animal life. Sir ***J. C. Bose has verified this in his experiments with the action of cobra venom (*Naja) on animals and plants. He found that in doses of 0.5 c.c. of solution of venom, one part in a thousand, when injected into the vein of a fish the heart stopped b eating in twelve minutes. This action was automatically recorded on delicate instruments. The same experiment was next applied to the plant, a solution of one per cent. being used. A great depression was first recorded, then the pulse beat came to a permanent stop, then came wilting and decomposition.

H.A. Roberts
Dr. H.A.Roberts (1868-1950) attended New York Homoeopathic Medical College and set up practrice in Brattleboro of Vermont (U.S.). He eventually moved to Connecticut where he practiced almost 50 years. Elected president of the Connecticut Homoeopathic Medical Society and subsequently President of The International Hahnemannian Association. His writings include Sensation As If and The Principles and Art of Cure by Homoeopathy.