The study of history reveals that all events, as well as repeating, run in cycles. This is as true of human activity as it is of the phenomena of Nature. Our first hint of Similia came from Hippocrates. From time to time men caught a fleeting glimpse of the light, but allowed it to pass by unheeded. It remained for Hahnemann to act seriously upon it and investigate it. This he did and we all know the result. He perfected it and brought it to a state of practicability but it remained for some one who understood it, to put it in shape for the uninitiated to grasp and assimilate.
Hahnemann, like other great and original men, was not the best of teachers. His ease of perception and his wide education made him thoughtless of those unable to maintain his pace. Again, the language and ideas of his day are not easily understood by many of us today. A great teacher is one who understands his subject and yet has not forgotten that there are some who need to be brought, step by step, to his level. That Hahnemann was not the most lucid teacher is evidenced by the numerous works which endeavor to make plain his teachings. Most of us will agree that the Organon is not an easily understood work and that rare teaching ability is required, to convey its meaning to the mind of the novice.
Boenninghausen was the first to realize this and he devoted the greater share of his time to helping the struggling beginners to a better understanding of homoeopathy. He was perhaps the greatest teacher because he blazed the trail and pointed out the way. He was the first to bring Homoeopathy into a logical and systematic form. His labors pointed out a way for future development. The result of his work his best shown in concise form in his Therapeutic Pocketbook-the foundation of all successful repertories.
Following Boenninghausen were many teachers, men of great ability and keen perception, who through their keen observation taught us many isolated truths, but who failed to show us the real secret of their successes and who failed to correlate these facts in a way more readily available to comprehension. There have been various attempts to explain homoeopathy and to classify and systematize its teachings, but most of them were as vague as the original teachings.
Things remained in a quiescent state until Kent came upon the scene and with his remarkable ability as a teacher, unravelled many of the perplexing knots and produced a more shapely and logical philosophy. He sifted out and correlated these separate facts, explained the Organon and showed the relation of the observed facts to the whole of homoeopathy. But even so, his works appeal more to the advanced man than to the beginner. They still have a certain vagueness to those of us but recently graduated. They do not span the chasm between what we must be taught in college in order to get a diploma and the knowledge requisite to good homoeopathic practice. Like all teachers, the press of time caused him to quickly pass over points essential to clarity. After him things again appeared to die down.
Many men, I believe, have refused to go far into homoeopathy because the works of the earlier writers did not put the subject into more tangible and logical form. This barrier prevented them from investigating the facts, regardless of their explanation. Homoeopaths claimed homoeopathy to be scientific and logical, but failed to show step by step how it is so. There seemed to be too many discrepancies. No attempt had been made to connect Homoeopathy with general medicine. Most of us began mourning the loss of our former giants, instead of studying their methods and finding thereby the secret of their success. Thus the cause of the apparent decline.
It is usually true that even in an apparent suspension of activity, there is some one at work, unfelt by the mass, who saves the work of the past from being lost and who improves on it. Such a period may be compared to gestation and we may look for the birth of something new. Such an unfelt worker is Stuart Close. He said nothing until his work was completed and then he gave us food for thought. When it was time for something of value to be brought forth, he brought it.
His great contribution to homoeopathic knowledge is the showing of the relation of Inductive Logic to all parts of homoeopathy. This, I believe, to be the most distinct advance in the understanding of homoeopathy, both philosophical and practical, of recent times, if not of all time. Like Hahnemann, he may be credited with its discovery, for, although it was used in an obscure way for a long period, Close was the first to point it out and develop it.