(Read at the Calcutta Homoeopathic Medical College Students Re-union, 1952)
But shortly, my friend is of opinion that what Hahnemann wrote as dynamic influence is the work of the Bacteria. Parasites, the invisible, microscopic living creatures so on and so forth according to his quotations from Hahnemanns Lesser Writings. But I beg to say now and always it is not the case. For, infection takes place by affection of Vital Force by immaterial, invisible, miasmatic influences which ultimate to material change where you find Bacteria, Bacilli etc.
The meaning of the dynamic influence has been clearly explained by Hahnemann in the 7th foot note at page 99 (6th edition, Organon). There he writes “The dynamic effect of the sick – making influences upon healthy man as well as the dynamic energy of the medicines upon the vital principle in the restoration of health, is nothing else than infection and so not in any way material, not in any way mechanical, just as the energy of a magnet attracting a piece of iron or steel is not material or mechanical.
It is purely specific conceptual influence that communicates to a near child small pox or measles in the same way as a magnet communicated to the near needle its magnetic property. (pg. 100 Organon 6th Edn.) Again, if one looks upon something nauseous and becomes inclined to vomit, did a material emetic come into his stomach which compels him to this antiperistaltic movement? Was it not solely the dynamic effect of the nauseating aspect upon his imagination? These examples clearly show what Hahnemann meant by infection in the year 1833 and in 1843.
Like small pox or measles, Cholera infection also takes place in an immaterial way and immaterial fear may help the spread and cause even deaths which practical experience daily proves beyond any shadow of doubt. Those who care very little for life are seldom attacked or die. These bold hearts serve the sick with little or precaution with modern antiseptics but by the grace of God remain safe, sound and steady with their own strength of mind.
Thus, we see Hahnemann speaks of vital force, disease – producing force and medicinal force, all these are invisible, immaterial, conceptual and spirit like forces. Surely then Hahnemann freed himself from the materialism of his time. To drag him down to the material plain of Bacteriology, is a sin which every thinking rational Homoeopath should avoid religiously. To inaugurate the Bacteria theory and infuse it into the minds of innocent students instead of Susceptibility or Vital weakness as cause of disease as said by Hahnemann, is simply to axe our Hahnemannian Homoeopathy.
It will not be, therefore, unreasonable for me to say that our friend labouriously culled and wreathed the flowers of 1831 in a chaplet to place it on the hallowed head of Hahnemann in the year 1833 when they were deprived of beauty and fragrance. Plainly speaking our friend quotes Hahnemanns statement from his Lesser Writings published in 1831, on spread of Cholera occurring on board ships on the river Ganges in India.
He is reported to have said:- “In the confined spaces, filled with mouldy, watery vapors the cholera miasm finds a favourite element for its multiplication and grows (please note here, the real meaning, the invisible cholera miasm gradually develops into material form from internal, invisible, immaterial state as is natural in every infection) into an enormously increased brood of these excessively minute, invisible living creatures so inimical to life of which the contagious matter of cholera most probably consists.
The cause of this is undoubtedly the invisible cloud that hovers closely around the sailors who have remained free from the disease composed of probably millions of the miasmatic (meaning, developed from miasm) animated beings which at first developed on the broad marshy banks of the tepid ganges always searching out in preference the human being to his destruction.
This pestiferous, infectious matter as he calls it, “which is carried about in the clothes, hair beards, soiled hands, instruments of physicians, nurses and others seem to spread the infection and cause epidemics.” Here, our friend says Hahnemann had anticipated by more than 50 years Kochs discovery of comma Bacillus of Cholera in 1882.
Our friend sees Kochs comma Bacillus in Hahnemanns “Miasm” without microscope, I beg to say, perhaps in his prejudicial, dreamy vision. Hahnemann never saw or admitted any material cause, Bacteria or bacillus, as is clearly apparent from my quotations from his subsequent writings in the Organon without any doubt or probability as shown above. Here also Kent says very reasonably – “It is not from external things that man becomes sick, not from bacteria, nor from environment but from causes within” (page 36 K.P.).
Here, I should again draw the attention of our intelligent and unprejudiced listeners to the fact that this statement in the Lesser Writings naturally of lesser importance and authenticity was never referred to by Hahnemann in his future writings. It was made, without actually seeing a case of Cholera, without visiting India, without having a glimpse of the Ganges, without feeling the temperature of the waters of the Ganges so pleasant and something more than pleasingly cool (Hahnemann described it as tepid) without having the good fortune of knowing the wonderful antiseptic properties of the sacredly blessed cold stream which comes down form the majestic Himachalam.
But Hahnemann describes it as tepid for want of actual experience. Another wonderful feature of the statement is that it is punctuated by the words “seems”, “probably”, “most probably” mentioned above. To make a passing remark without actually seeing a disease or anything connected with it, is an affair and solid opinion formed after close observation and handling it, is certainly essentially different.
The theoretical assumptions are liable to be falsified by cool thinking, practical and repeated observations or experience extending over a length of time. At this period of life to say something in favour of our friends assumptions it might be Hahnemann was passing through a doubtful state of mind but that never settled into a solid opinion as it appears from later writings. But correctly speaking their assumptions are due to misunderstanding.
On the face of this, Sir, my friends opinion cannot carry more weight, in the consideration of any sensible man, than that of Kent, the philosopher, the best follower of Hahnemann and best teacher of Hahnemannian Homoeopathy. Sir John Weir a pupil of Kent in his speech as the president of the Homoeopathic Congress, 1950 after dealing with an exhaustive comparison of Homoeopathy with up-to-date discoveries of modern science with wonderful mastery and precision, said towards conclusion :- “With varying success due to human frailty I have had no reason to change from the principles I was taught by Dr. Kent.” But the wonder is that some of our new friends very often use unparliamentary language against this Kent – and show themselves in their proper light.
In the latest or the sixth edition of Organon published in 1843, look at the preface, Hahnemann says: “It can easily convince every reflecting person that the diseases of man are not caused by any substance, any acridity, that is to say any disease – matter but they are solely spirit – like (dynamic) derangements of the spirit – like power (Vital principle) that animates the human body (pg. 18 of Organon, Edition 6). Here, please, notice, there is no word “probably” etc. in the assertion of Hahnemann.
This was written in 1833 and published in 1843, that is, at least two years if not ten years after Hahnemanns observation, if at all, regarding probable affection and spread of Cholera published in 1831.