The successive sickness of one individual bear enough resemblance to clearly show that each human entity reacts to disturbances in its own particular way. Ordinarily the connection is not self observed, for of all things bodily afflictions are soonest forgotten. Again the very violence of acute disease tends to obscure the deeper lying manifestations which best portray the dyscratic out croppings which are the more helpful of all to the prescriber. After an acute disease explosion these submerged symptoms again slowly emerge from their hiding, finally showing themselves to be part and parcel of a deeply imbedded miasm which can only be eradicated by the most careful prescribing. He who fails to realize this will always be curing but never cure. In his aimless wandering about amongst symptoms he will only add confusion to the picture, the more so because he failed to make the right start.
Much as we need our acute remedies the prescriber uses them less as he grows in his work. He realizes that acute excitations of the vital economy may be menacing enough to demand their employment, but at the same time expects to shortly follow them with others of deeper action. This is somewhat reminiscent of certain allopathic practices, but entails none of their baneful after-effects; on the contrary it clears the ground, bringing into stronger relief the indications for the succeeding remedy.
The finding of and giving the proper antipsoric has quite a few limitations. The anamnesis may be unavailable, the status praesens may have few and obscure symptoms or be loaded down with a multitude of trivialities taxing the ingenuity of the examiner at every step and unless he is a man of accurate habits of observation he is almost sure to fail in making correct deductions.
Not all physicians have built up sufficiently their deductive and reasoning powers and must perforce be shown the actual and close correspondence between the clinical and pathogenetic pictures. Such realists rarely make homoeopathists of the first rank, largely because of the type of their powers of imagination, for in actual practice there is always something to be inferred in every clinical case.
Repeated translations and transcriptions of the materia medica texts have almost insensibly altered the finer shades of meaning so essential to a correct understanding of the various remedies. This is not for the best as each record should be much more than just a bald outline of facts stripped of their vital setting, for it is this that constitutes the living appeal, as it were, and builds up the ground color of disease pictures, be they clinical or pathogenetic. The older men were much concerned over the sifting process of symptom verification, thereby showing themselves fully alive to the uncertainties of symptom production. Hahnemann himself, although he had through long application acquired the ability to grasp the essence of each prover’s statements, spoke of Nenning’s symptom factory, even while admitting many of the latter’s observations to his own compilation. We now know them to have the highest value.
Personally I feel it a mistake to use only educated provers because some of the most virile and expressive relations come from minds of rather mediocre equipment, be they patients or provers. A spontaneous expression unmodified by definition is always the most valuable. This is especially striking in the homoeopathic treatment of infants and children where self- interpretation is almost wholly absent.
What then should be our attitude in general toward disease? If we visualize it as a disturbance of the normal vibratory rate of the human entity, starting in the vital force, that compact of energy which rules our well being, the conclusion is inevitable that each separate sickness which we must suffer must also bear the stamp of the whole and must be regarded and treated as such, i.e., from the central to the more external, from above downward and in the reverse order of its appearance; the first shall be last and the last first, here also.
Whether we realize it or not, we are externalized thought and thought habits are the surest guides to the indicated remedy. In our thoughts lies the first and most fertile source of our every attitude; they color the meaning of every symptom, just as intonation governs the meaning of words, more so in some languages than others.
The original Materia Medica Pura of Hahnemann contains but relatively few conditions of aggravations and amelioration, leaving us to infer that originally they were used much less than now, although Boenninghausen was quick to add this helpful factor to our working knowledge of the remedies. Hahnemann himself evidently depended upon combined symptom expression for his guide and when clear and distinct it rarely needs the help of the modalities.
One more point: the primary elements of a given clinical picture are ordinarily not found in the same combination in the pure pathogenesis, but must be pieced together from the symptoms contained in several provings, which means that no one person can possibly show the whole clinical picture of any one disease nor can he exhibit all the phases of action of any one drug, but either complex will contain within its scope some of the essentials of the distress under which it labors.