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 he 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 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 an irresistible reform. The thinking process of an eminently conservative profession are far too Darwinian for 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 realize 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 fulfil this prophesy.
How well she did it we realize 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 of 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 realize 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 stabilization occurs, as here, through the conversion of energy. In other words health cannot be regained until harmony in the expenditure of vital energy again prevails. It 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, although 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 progress as long as no mental revulsion occurs. The first intimation that the remedial response is beginning to slacken comes through mental attitude.
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 else where.
We are daily confronted with a typical case that makes the careful assembling of all of their symptoms very important if wish to obtain a clear image for which 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 the easily leads to one-sided prescribing, palliation and ultimate confusion. The whole picture with certain out standing points is the ideal to be sought for, if we wish to succeed.
About a score of our drugs act out the common ills of life in there pathogeneses. These Hahnemann called polychrests and if we must have favorites let us learn all we can about these first of all. They especially include Aconite, Belladonna, Bryonia, Chamomilla, China, Cina, Ferrum phos, Gelsemium, Hepar, Ignatia Ipecac, Lachesis, Mercury, Natrum Mur, Phosphorus, Pulsatilla, Rhus tox, Sulphur and the Veratrums. The sick making properties of these drugs resemble those of sick people rather than disease forms. This is a very vital distinction for the homoeopath.
At the most drug action can simulate types of disease in part only. No human entity can show forth all or even a majority of the symptoms appertaining to a single drug or even of a single type of disease. The nearest approach to this specificity is perhaps the relation of Mercury to syphilis and yet Hahnemann, like the rest of us, supplemented its use with other drugs when quick silver lagged because of the presence of heterogeneous factors. The latter show themselves as side symptoms seemingly having no connection with the disease in hand; for which reason we view them as the outcroppings of other miasms, that thereby deflect the vital force by just that much.
The older homoeopaths ascribed poor results to the presence of an all pervading miasms which obscured and distorted the real indications. With an enormous increase in available pathogenetic symptoms we do not feel this need so acutely, albeit often to our own disadvantage. Most prescribers gradually enlarge the cope of there remedies quite beyond their seemingly legitimate sphere of action. This springs from the fact that the simillimum releases reactive power strong enough to re-establish harmony, which in turn is capable of sweeping away almost any morbid condition. The crude similar, however, can remove but a small part of the symptom complex and leaves behind a distorted image of the sickness, much harder to treat.
The best that can be said for partial prescribing is that it some times removes the superimposed load which blocks an effectual reaction. Such an impediment originates in the presence of some miasm, pernicious drugging or suppression. Hahnemann inveighed strongly against excessive depletion and pernicious polypharmacy; we, however, are faced by the still more dangerous procedure of serumization and ray treatments. The first always holds the menace of sensitization and vasomotor effects, while the latter drives back upon the vital force very eliminative function; a more dangerous procedure is hard to imagine.
All in all it may be said that the utter therapeutic confusion of dominant medicine is only too apparent to one who thinks clearly. It is becoming increasingly evident that autoantidotalism, as serumization in the old school and isopathy in our own, has captured a large part of the therapeutic field. In either form it is incapable of doing more than removing a present incubus, leaving the basic miasms untouched; it therefore falls short of being the simillimum, hence of doing the most good possible.
A word in inclusion. Jar was ideally correct in stating tat proper repertory analysis as well as the pathogenetic picture should point out the same remedy independently of each other; but practically most of us use the former to amplify, clarify and complement the latter. For us the proving text is too rigid and lacking in flexibility without the addition of some imagination, always a dangerous recourse, because resemblances are not equally evident to us. For this reason we need the check of clinical evidence, in order that our remedies may be properly delimited. This can be best accomplished by a system of coapting symptoms and their related remedies as is nowadays done with card indices, although these are confessedly now in their formative stage.
The procedure itself yields an entirely new point of view and one fully consonant with Hahnemann’s conception of the deduction to be drawn form the clinical picture. The method steps down the enormous rubrics of generalities and adds new ones composed of the most diverse elements present in the clinical picture, thereby forming the combination most likely to contain the particular minutiae so decisive for the homoeopathic remedy. In parting I have a word to leave with you: Hold fast top the law, learn its implication and thereby cure others; it is the only way it can actually be accomplished. Are we as prescribers and healers ready to take what should be the leading part in the reformation of therapeutics?
Dr. Donald Macfarlan: We ought to have a philosophy in life, and in medical life especially. The three principal things, you might say the trinity, which are most valuable in homoeopathy are the law of cure, in a single remedy, in a minimum dose: and that this is just how Hahnemann developed this system. First dawned upon him the law of cure and then in order to expedite cure and in order to avoid aggravation, he got the minimum dose. Those Three things have to enter into every correct homoeopathic prescription. They are inseparable. Associated with them is the frequency of the repetition. I believe that the only way you can skilfully adapt yourself to proper repetition is through provings, because you have your hand in making well people sick and conversely, making sick people well. The first thing that enters my mind when I see a sick person is this: What remedy which you have proven would make this fellow look like that? And if it occurs to my mind, say Phosphorus, I give him Phosphorous.
Dr. Grimmer: Dr. Boger always gives us a splendid paper and this is an exceptionally good one even for Dr. Boger. It really is a textbook in a way. He has shown us the fundamentals, the things that are so essential to keep in mind: First of all the correct taking of the case; second, the evaluation of the symptoms-don’t forget that. You can have pages and pages of symptoms and have no case, and other doctors can give you three, or four or five symptoms and you have the picture of your remedy. That comes from the art of evaluation of symptoms, knowing the symptoms that are really symptoms of that sick patient, separated from the symptoms of the disease, the pathological symptoms, the symptoms that come as diagnostic indications. They are not so valuable. Many times they are almost valueless as far as prescribing goes.
Dr. Boger has gone further. He has shown the relationship of these finer forces. It is the study of these finer forces and their origin that is going to make homoeopathy accepted, and science is beginning-at least the progressive portion of science, consisting of the great physicists of the time-to pay attention to these very forces. They have got so far beyond the ordinary science that they acknowledge that they cannot prove some of the propositions. Compton has said that we have to accept some of the phenomena on faith as it were. He has got beyond the idea of an automatic universe, not that he can prove from reasoning altogether, but from the higher perception, the kind of perception that Hahnemann had. He knows there is something beyond all the material things we see around us, and that is what homeopathy is. It reaches up into other planes. It reaches up into the mental state, even into the spiritual side of life and that is way Homoeopathy is vital. That is why it cures. That is why it can wipe out inherited conditions.
Did you ever stop to think why a homoeopathic potency is specially adapted to wipe our inherited traits? We are told by scientists that a little grain of cell, among the finest of ultra-microscopic cells, carries all the germs and the chromosomes of the past. Nothing can touch that but the homoeopathic remedy and that is why we can prove it scientifically.
Dr. Boger: One of the commentators intimated non-action. When you don’t get action from remedies, and there seems to be no response at all, non-action simply means you haven’t touched the cord of harmony; that is all it means and you always have behind that the remedies which bring up re-action, such as Psorinum, Sulphur and so forth. You can’t get well without reaction, without re-establishing harmony. That holds good in the physical world and in the mental world.
The physical body contains a certain amount of stored energy. When you give a remedy you tap that stored energy through an equalization of its distribution in the body. In that way you restore harmony, just as surely as you can tap electric current by pushing the button.
There is one point I didn’t bring out in the paper, as fully as I should have done, and that is that we can’t all see resemblances as well as we should. Sometimes my mind is fitted so that I can see certain resemblances and the other fellow can’t, and sometimes it is the other way about, and the other fellow sees the resemblance and I can’t see it, even when it is pointed out to me. That is an inherent factor of the mind.
I want to recite briefly an experience I had not long ago, right along that line. A man came to me from a distant city and said he hadn’t had any benefit at all from the treatment he received there. He had generalized eczema from head to foot and those cases are always very difficult. I hesitate to prescribe for them because I am, free to say, my success is not invariable.
I sat and talked to him awhile. He had it so badly that the skin was cracked in places and exuded a nasty, offensive, sweet odor. His face was bluish, and altogether he was a forbidding sight.
The longer I talked to him the more I became convinced that he was an an exact replica of poisoning by Rhus Venerata. I didn’t look up the materia medica for that at all, but gave a single dose of Rhus Venerata MM potency. I said “Don’t take this till you get home, because something is going to happen”. He waited until he got home and took it. The third or the fourth day he began to sweat all over. Then it was confined to the left chest. It had the odor of rotten smoke. He had gout stones in the lobules of both ears. Those both dropped out and he cleared up all over, peeled off all over.
Now that Rhus Venerata didn’t cure him, because after a while it came back a little, but it didn’t come back enough to worry about and I didn’t repeat the dose. I am going to let him ride along and see how much reserve force he has back there to stabilise this thing again.