THE HAHNEMANNIAN DOCTRINE OF ATTENUATION


THE HAHNEMANNIAN DOCTRINE OF ATTENUATION.
(E. P. ANSHUTZ, HOMOEOPATHIC RECORDER, JUNE, 1917.).

 

The above is the h…


The above is the heading of an article in Physico-Clinical Medicine, a new journal published at San Francisco. As a preliminary, it can be said, possibly from lack of understanding, that “Physico” medicine seems to out-Herod even our extreme fluxion potencies. Here is a quotation.

“It is practically impossible to conceive the limit of the subdivision of matter. An idea of the smallness of an electric charge in matter was referred to by Prof. Millikan, in a recent lecture at the University of California. It was he who first isolated and weighed electrons. He said that if the two and a half million people who live in Chicago were to begin to count, and count as fast as they could, day and night, without stopping to eat or sleep or die, for 20,000 years, then, if the amount all had counted were added up, the total would be the number of electrons passing through an ordinary light filament in one second”.

The article does not have much to say of Hahnemann or Homoeopathy, the gist of what is said is contained in the following quotation:.

“It is assumed that Hahnemann conceived disease as a perversion of the spiritual-vital powers and anything spiritual not being combatable by material remedies he turned to a spiritual power bound up in plants and liberated by dilution. The corollary of the latter conception was, the efficiency of medicinal substances reduced to a wonderful degree of minuteness or dilutions. Hahnemann lived at a time when the now exploded theory of vitalism dominated medical thought and he no doubt employed it as a vehicle for emphasizing this doctrine. The historic development of therapeutics is identified with this theocratic philosophy”.

Is the theory of vitalism “exploded”? Briefly vitalism is, “the theory that all animal functions are dependent upon a special form of energy or force, the vital force, distinct from any other of the physical force,” so says the dictionary. Just here let us quote from the article to show what the Physico-Medicine stands for:.

“Pharmacodynamics is identified with homovibrations and not, if I am permitted to neologize, by heterovibrations. We are standing on the threshold of a new Pharmacognosy in which radio- therapy will be employed with relation to the polarity and vibratory rate of disease. I have designated the former as polari therapy, and the latter I shall neologize as Oscillato therapy.

This outlines what is substituted for the old vitalism and, frankly, we do not hesitate a moment to hold on to vitalism on which, in one sense, homoeopathy is based.

Man is made up of body and soul, or of body, i.e., matter, only. Under the old idea, if a man lost a let he knew his body had been mutilated, but he, himself, was unchanged, and would be so when he lost his whole body. In other words, his vital part, or soul, was immortal. The idea prevailing today among scientists, or some of them, is that all of man is matter going from coarse to radio energy, consequently when man dies he returns to the vast mass of matter and that is the end of him. The old vitalism is more logical, more in accord with reason and consequently more truly scientific.

More and more the marvelous discoveries of science are confirming the truth of homoeopathy on its physical side, but that same science halts at duality of man, body and soul, the one absolutely natural, the other absolutely immaterial, yet acting on the material and influencing it to do so as the soul desires. It is the recognition of the dual nature of man that gives homoeopathy its vitality. Our materia medica is full of mental symptoms and man is one complex of emotions. Can the laboratory isolate an emotion? the materialists stand on one side, the Christian scientists on the other. The one is all matter, the other all mind, and both one legged. The follower of homoeopathy stands on two legs, hence his success.

INFINITESIMALS.

(September 15, 1917.).

Dr. Albert Abrams, of San Francisco, in Physico-Clinical Medicine of the same city, seems to have stirred up the homoeopathic journals. The RECORDER, June, considered his paper and nearly all the other homoeopathic journals have done the same — approvingly. Yet, in deed, there is nothing homoeopathic in what he wrote save an affirmation of the infinitesimal, which, as many of our men have repeatedly told us, Hughes, for instance, has nothing to do with homoeopathy, or, in other words, with similia similibus curantur.

In this they are right, for Hahnemann started with big doses and succeeded; he reduced the dose, and succeeded, and today we have men prescribing the O and others the D.M.M., the 3x and the 30th, all successful. This seems to show that homoeopathy is a bigger proposition than infinitesimals, and also, at the recognition of the fact of infinitesimals, and also, that the recognition of the fact of infinitesimals is no proof that the man so recognizing is a homoeopath, nor is it a proof of the fundamental principle of homoeopathy, namely, similia similibus curantur.

There is a vast deal back of that Latin proverb, whether you spell it curantur or curentur, more than is dreamed of in the philosophy of some of the matter of experience with logic tending to the higher potencies. The action of the law is eternal whether the Aconite be in the tincture or in a potency, and we can also see that the smaller the dose of the needed “similar” poison that is curative the less the afflicted one has to contend with on his road to recovery. The “how” of a cure bothers the men who go in for science.

How does a grain of corn germinate and bring forth a hundredfold? “Heat and moisture” is the triumphant reply. But “how”? No one knows, not even the Agricultural Department of the United States. That department knows the fact just as the homoeopaths know the fact that Aconite will cure if indicated. But how it is done in either case no one knows. To answer you must know the secret of “life”, and not even the Rokefeller Institute knows that, for when one of its scientists loses what is known as “life”, he becomes a mass of substance easy to analyze, which was not the case before his mysterious “life” departed. Then the mass was warm with life.

This leads up to what one very respected contemporary had to say of Abrams paper, namely:.

“If Abrams conclusions are confirmed by other investigators and they become thoroughly established, it will be a tribute to Samuel Hahnemann and should serve to lessen much of the prejudice now existing against homoeopathy”.

With all due regard for our learned New York contemporary it will do nothing of the kind, for Abrams, while proving the actuality of the so-called infinitesimal rather makes light of real homoeopathy of which the infinitesimal is but a corollary. Homoeopathy is the only thing in therapeutics that is scientific and it can and must stand on its own bottom.

The seemingly near approaches, and the patronizing half-approvals from the outside are of no real benefit without a recognition of the great fundamental, the law. A man may believe that an ion can buzz around in an atom like a fly in a cathedral, but that belief does not make him a homoeopath any more than the seeing and believing in the existence of a cathedral makes a man a Christian.

When we got down to brass tacks there is precious little any of us know of what is below the surface of things, though most of us are cock-sure we know much or even “know it all”. What causes diphtheria?.

“The bacillus of diphtheria, of course”.

What causes the bacillus?.

“Give it up !”.

And even here it is by no means certain whether the bacillus causes the disease or the disease causes the bacillus. Every experienced homoeopath knows that a drug administered on clear cut, homoeopathic indications will quickly cure the patient whether it be given in material or infinitesimal dosage if cure be possible, but a belief in infinitesimals without the law would leave the physician helpless.

And after all is said, why should homoeopaths be so eager for the crumbs of commendation that fall from the allopathic table as though they were our superiors?.

E.P. Anshutz
Edward Pollock Anshutz – 1846-1918. Editor - Homeopathic Recorder and author of New Old and Forgotten Remedies. Held an Hon. Doctor of Medicine from Hering Medical College.