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.
No person should engage in any scientific pursuit who has not first become acquainted with inductive logic. Without it he is not in a position to understand and appreciate scientific methods. He merely becomes a phonograph record of scientific facts, repeating them as often as desired, but not having any real conception of their value. Such is the man who practices homoeopathy by merely memorizing a few symptoms of a drug, without trying to grasp the whole. His work is mediocre and becomes a bore and a drag. Logic, both formal and inductive, should be a prerequisite in every branch of learning. It teaches us to think, discriminate, understand and appreciate. Others, as Close says, used logic in their work, but to him goes the credit of pointing it out and showing its relation to all of homoeopathy.
To those who have not read his last book “Philosophy of Homoeopathy,” I recommend it to their most serious consideration. To the advanced homoeopath it opens new fields, to the beginner it lights the way. The chapter “The Logic of Homoeopathy” is worth the price of the book and more.
If all education were carried out in such a logical manner our students would have a much firmer foundations, more inquiring minds and an ability to think. Homoeopathy would have more adherents, both professional and lay. Modern education is in truth a good asset for a bird store-it breeds parrots. Real education teaches men to think and discriminate between what it and what is not so.
I would like to suggest that DR. Close, either through his department in the RECORDER or in book form, elaborate more fully this logical side of homoeopathy, to which his able introduction has proved to be such an appetizer.
A BRILLIANT RESULT.
Royal E.S.Hayes, M.D.
We will not begin with any philosophic gyrations or tack on either moral, exhortation or whoop. The case is standing on its own legs today and good hard sinewy legs they are, indeed.
It was in April, 1923, that I was called to a certain, old farm house some miles out in the country. I wondered how my reputation had ever staggered out so far. I thought it could not have been by the impetus of “personality,” for that had always been of such a tenuous constitution that I usually left it hung up in some safe place whenever I went out anywhere. If it is not substantial enough to be a real support, you know, it is better or strengthen ones reputation with other facilities. So I concluded that I must have cured somebody sometimes and that this patient must have hear of it.
Thinking over these things, I arrived and entered the wood room at the back of the house. As I did so one of the most dreadful odors that I have ever smelled rose up and made terrific swipe at me. I grappled with it instantly, however, and with manful efforts succeeded in forcing my way into the kitchen. There I beheld as well as smelled one of the most abject it was ever my chance to see. A spinster of sixty-five, of desert- island aspect, unwashed, uncombed and unkempt, sat in a chair in which I found she had been staying several weeks, being unable to lie down. The aspect of a naturally strong, capable N.E. individual gone to seed served as a fitting center of a picture of indescribably disordered surroundings.
She said her gait had been getting troublesome and back and lower extremities weakening for a year or more. At this time her sole mode of locomotion was hitching about while sitting in the chair. The knee reflexes were gone. The legs were greatly swollen, the lower two-thirds and proximal half of the feet a mass of deep ulceration, the skin being entirely gone. Bandages consisting of old clots had not been removed for several days.
She had had no medical attention or other care having remained day and night in the same chair several weeks, unable to lie down because of soreness. The discharge from the ulcers was so copious that it ran in drizzling streams when the bandages were removed. There was no history of previous disease except jaundice and bilious headaches when young. Recently, however, a sister came to me from a distant state presenting a well-developed degeneration of the spinal cord.
The essential symptoms and prescribing with dates are as follows :
Spinal paralysis with trophic ulceration of legs and feet with extensive gangrene threatening.
Intense burning spells in legs at night. Dreadful odor.
Had had copious urine all winter which became scanty and highly-colored as the gangrenous process advanced; at present 1030, no albumin or sugar.
Emaciation : Skin like parchment.
Numbness and weakness of hands.
Pains worse at night, dampness or cold weather, east wind, from any variation from medium temperature.
Ars. 40m one dose was given with some rest and relief of pain.
April 20. eight days later.
Spells of irresistible lassitude.
Increased sensitiveness to cold.
Intense thirst instead of appetite in the morning, faint stomach during the forenoon.
Legs smarting and itching aggravated by both heat and cold, in the evening and by bathing; feeling very tight and stiff.
Sul. 10m one dose.
Two days later the oozing increased and the fluid became green, as green as copper sulphur. Improved ten days, the escaping serum gradually fading to a straw color.
Sul. 10m one dose.
Two days later the legs were seen to be distinctly smaller and the green discharges had reappeared. The improvement ceased after six days and another remedy was sought.
The pains were worse now from 3 to 8 P.M., smarting and aching, the discharges irritating and edges of ulcerated areas red and inflamed.
Merc. v., 1M one dose. Improved five days and urine increased. Then pain, swelling and inflammation increased, extending rapidly upward.
Stiffness all over at night.
Sensitive in general to both heat and cold.
Merc.v., 1M two doses. Two hours apart.
Improved a few days and urine increased, but soon the patient became decidedly worse both generally and locally.
Merc. 10m was given without relief.
May 29. The legs had now become intensely sore and swollen though small areas had become covered with skin. They now became very sensitive to cold and drafts imperceptible to others and to slightest touch.
Yellow crusts had formed.
Smarting intense from evening to midnight.
Teeth decaying rapidly.
Twitching of legs.
Aggravation from thunder showers.
Contraction of flexors of lower extremities.
Feeling weak and all to pieces as if could not keep up, worse in the evening.
Silic. 1m one dose was given May 29.
By July 29 there was great improvement, patient could lie down, the legs were healing and puffiness disappearing.
By September 10 she could walk and the ulcers were entirely healed.
October 11. Walked about the house freely, slight swelling remaining. But back and lower extremities bent with contractions.
January 24, seven months from last prescription.
Rhus. tox. was given for stiffness and contractions with benefit. She could not yet stand erect.
February 11. Knees and back very stiff in the evening. Ulcer appearing on one leg.
Sil. 1m one dose.
Complete healing and capacity returned.
Ten months later Sil. 1m 3d doses four hours apart.
Two months after that Psor. 15c one dose gave further constitutional uplift.
From a chair-ridden paralytic with practically gangrenous legs to an able-bodied woman in six months is doing fairly well. The lengthening intervals of reaction from a strong vitality latent in this patient. Dr. Waffensmith saw her after she was well on her feet and he said, “That is what I call a brilliant result”.
To ward off possible censure by any who may be shocked at no. mention of local antiseptics or chemical lavatures, I will state that the patient was directed to put one powder of B.& T.”s strong saccharum lactis in a tub of water of comfortable temperature and bathe the legs fifteen minutes strictly once a only. Probably it was that cured after all!.