Forty-seventh Annual Meeting of the International.
Another yearly cycle in the ceaseless eruption of events has swept over the earth adding its little quota of effects to the residue of previous life and experience. The convening of this Association is an annual marking point in our professional life. We, who have creative medicine at heart find this a little period of recuperation from the exactions of conscience and work combined, plus the distraits and distortions of modern civilized existence. Here one gets charged up in an atmosphere of solid and simple truth and reason and gets a good shove into the next year.
Your president for 1926 is unable to shower wisdom of the political sort upon your expectant heads. He is by disposition and experience incapable of approaching the affairs of organized homoeopathy. He personally believes in the loosest and most informal organization and administration possible for an association which is devoted to purely mental interests. For the purpose of organized bad manners, such as “drives” or of enforcing the will upon others for some so-called practical purpose such as the designs of commerce and government, for instance, disciple, close formation and subjugation of thought are desirable.
But this Association, if I understand its make- up correctly, has no popular desire except the well being of all, no craving to get, but an urgent desire to give. It does not aspire to mass influence or influence in any sphere but its own. Its desire and instinct is to permeate and influence medical thought and opinion. In this apparently nebulous, but highly tensioned and vibrant function lies its great strength and promise of permanence.
There is but one matter of policy about which I may pretend to speak. There appears to be quite a tendency to increase of membership. I believe the tendency to multiply should be recognized as a sort of liability and dealt with by division or seriation, or some formation that will keep it muscular and active. The strength and influence of the I. H. A. in the past have sprung from the interaction of individual mental efforts rather than by collective action or the mass sense.
The membership being small each one has had his quota of literary and discursive work to do. This has been a source of inspiration and facility in both professional and association work. The I. H. A. is one of the greatest sources of the vitality and endurance of homoeopathy in a world ridden and riddled by specialized though misguided medical sciences.
Another result and one that we are appreciating more and more is an almost priceless literature of classic and practical homoeopathy. We have in general a foundation for medical influence that at some future time may be as the hot sun in a misty atmosphere provided that spirit and quality keep up with membership. An enlarged literary output may not in itself count most in an opportunity or crisis but the exercise of developing it is an induction of general strength and influence.
With all hospitality to newcomers the I.H.A needs them not merely as taxpayers, but for constructive work in literature, conferences and clientele. We should find a way for quantity and quality of work to fill every expanding niche. The study and discussion of homoeopathics requires good teeth and a sound digestion. There are many in the Regular School who possess these qualities. It is possible to interest and attract them if topics may be gotten to them, topics having piquancy and point. Recruits from the Regulars become the strongest of Homoeopathists.
That is all about politics. I would like to offer a little criticism concerning the status of homoeopathy as an art and science in general and organized homoeopathy in particular. There is an influential and able element in our school who seem to persist in trying to reduce homoeopathy to a material science. They break out into a cold sweat whenever a little hole in the clouds of materialism appears and keep close to the consoling arms of “Modern Medical Science”.
Now, I believe that we should not only perceive but admit that homoeopathy is not a material science. No one would attempt to put a whole cow into a can for corned beef. The basis of homoeopathy, in so far as it is material does, indeed, conform to the principles of science, but its theory is philosophical and its practice is cognitive. Recent physical researches, notably the electronic, do confirm its obedience to natural laws exhibited in the material sphere and continued research is likely to further stabilize its practice and use. But aside from all this there is plenty of solidity and assurance for the modern medical scientist if he will but test the fundamental principles, that is, natural law.
What, may I ask, is more stable than a true mental science and philosophy ? What, for instance, is more elemental and immanent than the law of individuality? Would not creation fall through without it ? Can the laboratories of institutions of modern medical science exhibit anything comparable to the law of the unit, to identify, location, balance, rhythm, construction, and a score or so of other elements of being, the refractions of which constitute the vitality and stability of creation?.
Let us, therefore, review our understanding of the place of homoeopathy in the general scheme of human knowledge, and, roughly, our conception of the mental processes in dealing with it.
First, we should have some conception of the extremes and conditions of being. The crystal may be said to be the lowest, the most inert condition of being; pure impulse or so-called spirit the most fluent or potent. Living beings are suspended between these extremes as an electro-magnetic combination having the characteristics of both material and immaterial being. It is these polarizations with all their variations that we recognize as different grades of being in the scale of evolution.
As for man, as long as he remains alive he must have some sentiment and conscious relation to both potent and inert conditions of being. In so far as his senses explore about him does he build up perception, and in so far as his memory and reason relate the things which he perceives to each other, or to these similarities does he get understanding. This is the process of intelligence.
Now, there is an intelligence of material things and affairs, and an intelligence of similarities and stable relations in the unseen or immaterial world. This is the Knowledge and use of law.
Let me illustrate how law extends from the material to the immaterial. Man is the pattern of every article that can be found on earth, whether in the natural state or formed by his own hand.
Perhaps this would be better stated by saying that everything on earth conforms either in a simple or elaborated state to a similar pattern.
Therefore, every object is subject to the same laws of existence, and the more developed or complex the object the more the similarities become evident.
Take a simple object like a lead pencil. It has a head and opposite end, a body of muscle and skeleton combined; also sides, and when grasped in use the part grasped serves as the pelvis or pivot of balance when in action. When laid down the part which touches the table serves as feet. The cavity is the heart from which is discharged the graphite or blood which as usual incites and determines its functioning. The sharp point corresponds to the head, the opening of its cavity to the mouth and the leaden point to the eye.
The glue corresponds to the ligaments, the opposition of its lateral halves to a joint, the paint to the skin, and the labeling to its physiognomy or face, perhaps. That part projecting beyond the grasping fingers serves as the short arm, or extremity, and the part behind the fingers as the leg or long organ of leverage. Other similarities might be related.
Or take a chair. It has legs, feet, pelvis, ribs, scapulae, shoulders, arms, head, buttocks, knees, anterior, posterior, lateral, upper and lower aspects and many other familiar parts. The face above its seat might be called its heart for here it determines the quality of its functions and fate.
There is not thing created that does not correspond to definite and easily observed laws. It throws some light on the words of the seer, “And in his image created he them”.
One of the most striking artificial similars is that peripatetic animal, the automobile. Besides similarities of its chassis it has also internal organs. There is similarity of gasoline nozzle to the mouth; of the tank and carburettor to the stomach and digestion; of the intake manifold and exhaust manifold to the right and left auricle; of the cylinders to the right and left ventricles with intake and exhaust valves as in the heart. The cylinder cavities also act as lungs. Here oxygenation occurs, heat is generated and energy is transmitted to the body.
The pistons act as heart muscle and lungs for the process of sucking in the mixture and discharging it by the manipulation of air pressure and chemical climaxis. The auto also has a nervous and cerebral system. The magnets corresponds to the solar plexus; the primary wires to the sympathetic nerves; the tension coils to the brain and the secondary wires to the voluntary nervous system.
Even language, thoughts, emotions, conform to the same laws and produce similar patterns. One of the most striking examples of this likeness are the immaterial individualities produced by potentizing material substances. Here we have a science of production and an art of application of similars that affords opportunity for the most discriminating and extended perception and intelligence. I think I have said enough to suggest that homoeopathy is a mental and vital science and art, not a material and mechanical art.
Do not the material experimentalists, alias the modern medical scientists, understand that homoeopathy rests on stable principles? That the principles extend into the creative, immaterial world and that our use of them is therefore creative medicine? Can even the wily phagocyte digest a healthy specimen of natural law? Probably an effect may sometimes gulp down a cause, but such instances are not very common. Why, gentlemen ! when “Modern Medical Science” looks a natural law squarely in the eye it shrivels up as Charlie Chaplins grizzly bear tragically collapsed into a parlor rug when he tapped it with his cane.
I have used the term creative medicine. How easy it is to slide over words without realizing their depth of import. Words are too often used as a convenient bridge to carry ones vision or desires from one familiar point to another without thought of the depths beneath or the possibilities above. Creative medicine ! Does not the poet, the musician, the artist reach heights of vision and depths of emotion from which are expressed harmoniously and beautifully the ecstasy of exaltation of anguish? What is this deep well of being which is somehow compounded with and a part of each self upon which is formed the crust of conscious life ?.
That we cannot know. But we do know that the spirit of man is greater than clay, that even in this pushing, pulsating, sentient suspension called life man may find depths and heights beyond his little residual self, and bring from their energy that which quickens conscious life and enlightens its outlook. It is not mere shuffling of horizontal material, but the range of consciousness from surface to depths or heights that make any art creative.
We may expand this range by sincerity, concentration and independent thought. It is a favorite exclamation of a friend that “we do not know the limits of what homoeopathy may do;” and this friend has a penetrating insight as to what the patients life is, and a deep and fine idea as to what the similimum is.
Creative medicine, then, reaches into and works in the very springs of life. With all just regard for those who with sincerity and persistence have made surface discoveries, inventions and manipulations, we content that this homoeopathic work is more radical and far reaching in its effects. Because if one only works on the surface he will have only surface results or deleterious results.
Samuel Hahnemann, on the contrary, discerned definite and comprehensive principles of vital and medicinal action, built up a system of applying them with direct and specific effect and reared a therapeutic edifice of monumental proportions and permanency– truly, one of the most remarkable achievements of man. Besides being a great achievement in itself there was a stupendous streak of good luck in it for humanity.
Though medical and surgical force and futility still unwittingly cast shadows of disappointment and despair over masses of humanity, yet there are rifts of light in the clouds which shall not be closed in the present round of human existence; not until evolution itself withers and recedes. Homoeopathic organizations may die a more or less well deserved death. But homoeopathy will not die because it is not the more product of a season, or artifice from the hand of man.
It is an elemental and living projection of evolution itself.