*Lectures delivered at the All India Exhibition Lecture Court, Eden garden, Calcutta, on the occasion of Hahnemanns Birthday Anniversary, April 10, 1948.
Human knowledge has been unmanageably vast; every science has begotten a dozen more, each subtler and more complex than the rest. The entire corpus of medical knowledge has split into a thousand isolated fragments, each claiming an exclusive devotee of its own. Each department of specialised science resolves the whole into parts , the organism into organs, dynamic processes of life in health and diseases into static tissue changes and ignores the concrete individual in favour of abstract conceptions.
In the zeal to identify each tree, the wood is missed. Facts replace understanding; wide and true perspective is lost. What is the result? The common man realises in a blind sort of way that they are getting from the medical profession a good many things they do not want and are not getting some very important things which they badly need.
The common man finds himself forced to choose between a so-called scientific medicine man mumbling unintelligible technical pessimistic man mumbling unintelligible technical pessimistic jargons and an empirical quack, mumbling incredible hopes and promises. This unfortunate situation has been brought about by the medical men themselves while forgetting the fundamental mission in life. What is the way out.
We need a philosophy of medicine which will correlate and direct all the diverse scientific knowledge to achieve the highest mission of the physician, as Hahnemann puts it, to restore health to the sick, to cure as it is termed.” The science of medicine exists only in order that the art of medicine may be made effectual in the prevention, amelioration and cure of diseases.
The specialities are of little value in the treatment of disease unless they are correlated and directed in their application by the internist, the general practitioner-who views and treats every case as a whole. All the surgery, all the organ specialising, all the theorising, laboratory research, classifying, naming and explaining of diseases amount to very little if it does not lead to the cure of the patient. It is here that Homoeopathy steps in and supplies a philosophy with a synthetic and global outlook. Before the days of Hahnemann the two principal departments of medicine viz. the study of diseases and study of drug actions on human beings were developing each in its own way.
Homoeopathy supplies a law to knit together these two branches of medical knowledge to achieve the highest mission of the physician. Yet Hahnemann was not a solitary philosopher ploughing his lonely furrow. Homoeopathy, his discovery , was the logical and legitimate off-spring of the Inductive Philosophy and Method of Aristotle and Lord Bacon. Hahnemann was a prince amongst the scientists as evidenced by his constant appeal to experience, to facts of observation and experiment and to the necessity in medicine of avoiding speculation of all kinds and by his refusal to speculate about the essential nature of things.
Neither did the crown of a philosopher ill suit him when he accepted the reality of Suprasensible entities like life, mind and soul. As a philosopher he differed with regular medicine in his interpretation and application of several fundamental principles of science. It is these differences of interpretations and the practice growing out of them which give Homoeopathy its individuality and continue its existence as a distinct school of medicine. Modern science in general and medical science in particular, regards the facts of the universe from a materialist standpoint.
It endeavours to reduce all things to the terms of matter and motion. The modern Biologist seeks to avoid all “isms” except organism. He always enriches his knowledge about life through study of bio-chemistry, bio-physics and bio-mechanics, yet at every turn, he is forced to admit that organism transcends mechanism. No complete vital phenomenon has yet found adequate chemico-physical description; there is some integration or regulatedness or registration of previous individual and racial experience and a purposiveness which is purly chemical and physical formulation -indispensible as they are.
Still the Biologist being a hard boiled materialist refuses to accept the existence of Life-principle; and he is compelled to admit that as a matter of fact, organism require for their scientific description certain biological concepts or categories which are at present irreducible. Homoeopathic philosophy views the facts of the universe, in general, and medical facts in particular, from a vitalistic-substantialist standpoint which regards all things and forces, including life and mind, as substantial entities, having a real objective existence. In Homoeopathy, philosophy, life and mind are the fundamental varieties of the Universe.
Nevertheless Hahnemann was pre-eminently a master-artist whose science and philosophy instead of losing themselves in the dreary desert sands of barren theories, flowed and mingled together to follow into a mighty stream of the noblest art that human ingenuity can device viz. the healing art. He concentrated his whole attention on the individual, who combines in himself the universal and transcendental aspect of existence. As a practical realist he recognised the individuality of each patient and each drug and substance in nature.
His system of examination of a patient is conducted with a view to discover not only the general or common features of the case by which it may be classified diagnostically and pathologically, but the special and particular symptoms which differentiate the case from others of the same general class. From this individualistic point of view necessity appeared for a general principle of therapeutics.
Another remarkable discovery of Hahnemann is the fact that what is needed is not a general remedy of a disease, so long vainly sought, but a general principle, applicable to all the varying cases so that the particular remedy needed by each individual may be found.
In short Homoeopathy attempts to integrate universal with the individual and deal with concrete reality. Necessarily it bases its whole system not on technical conceptional terms (terminologies) but on the full blooded common language used by man in his every day life. Homoeopathy integrates art with science and philosophy. It leads to an integral knowledge which seems to be in line with the next step in the evolution of human consciousness.
To-day the 10 of April is the birth day of the great German Savant Samuel Hahnemann who while dealing with facts medical, discovered a truth in Biology and raised medicine from its status as mere art to that of science and philosophy as well. That is the reason why when Hahnemann discovered the Homoeopathic Law of Cure it does not stop there, but like a lamp shedding its light far beyond the object for which it was lighted, it illuminines the whole region of human life and taught transcending its original purpose.
Let not Homoeopathy be our mere creed for professional calling but also a mode of “SADHANA” to highten and expand our present formulation of consciousness so that we may climb up from “Instinctive knowledge” to “Intuition” through the the intermediate plane of Reason and Intellect.
Let us remember the Great master in all reverence and humility and try to do as he did.