Another friend, a cultured woman of deep intuition, keen insight and original ideas, was so powerfully impressed by the portrait that she stood rapt before it for many minutes before speaking. Then in her sententious way: “It is a composite picture portraying a complex character. I have never seen you look like that at any one time. One must see you several times in different moods to be able to appreciate all there is in that picture. It is a wonderful portrait. How does he do it!”.

Another, herself a portrait painter of distinction, exclaimed: “I wish I had done it! I wish I could do it! I never realized before the possibilities of genius in portrait painting. It is a great portrait”.

A lawyer, my friend and patient for more than twenty-five years, said: “It is a portrayed of life itself a living likeness. It speaks to the soul”.

Mind interacted with mind in these instances painter, subject and observer through the medium of a work of art. Note bene Mr. Thomas Craven.

Not to draw the parallel too closely, the artist in medicine pursues much the same course in examining his patient, constructing his case and recording it. He too is painting a portrait, although with different media and for a different purpose. He, too, must individualize both his patient and his remedy. He must observe and portray individual characteristics.

He is not satisfied with sketching mere outlines of his subject. His completed case when analyzed is found to be made up not only of many measure anatomical, physiological and morphological peculiarities, but of an equal or greater number of related functional variations, recognizable by the medical artist. All these must be drawn, modelled and blended into a characteristic symptom likeness a totality which represents the sick individual and stamps the physicians as a master of his art.

Needless to say, the physician, like the portrait painter, must be something of a psychologist and diplomat as well as a trained observer. In one word he must have the artists mind. Differing with Mr. Thomas Craven and The American Mercury. I maintain that there are painters (and physicians) who have minds.

Granting for the sake of the argument, that the ruck of painters and physicians have no minds in the sense of the word employed by Mr. Craven; that by the same token they are “inferior beings,” “dolts” and “ignoramuses;” it does not follow that there are not individuals among them who possess and display certain qualities which we are accustomed to associate with intelligent persons. Of course even these are not in the class with Mr. Thomas Craven, who is in a class by himself, so remote and unapproachable in his solitary sapiency that he never comes in contact with the more highly developed individuals of other classes.

Plotinus, greatest of the ancient Greek Neo-Platonists, taught: that when we behold beautiful things we become beautiful; when we ignore them we are ugly. As our physical sight or hearing must be perfect before we can judge of a statue or a song, so must we be normally beautiful ourselves before we dare give a judgment on incorporeal beauty.

Beauty is the triumph of form over matter, the Divine Idea expressing itself through matter. Beauty is both sensual and incorporeal. Sensual beauty is especially that of the eye or ear. Incorporeal beauty is the beauty of virtue, or the beauty of the soul, which is the Divine Light itself. Corporeal beauty is outside of a man; incorporeal within; consequently, a man cannot judge of incorporeal beauty until he has returned to himself, or rather become perfect.

Critics, therefore, who see no beauty in works of art, nor virtue in their creators, are blind, ignorant and incompetent, and their judgments are of no value. “Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?”.

God knows, there is enough to criticize and condemn in all professions in medicine as well as in painting. There is much dead wood, underbrush and scrub growth in our professional woods that ought to be cut away and burned. There are too many saplings and slim young trees that crowd each other and shut out the sun. Many of these might be transplanted to deforested areas of which, medically and artistically speaking, there are many; but there are also many strong, sturdy trees, and a few glorious monarchs who overtop all their subjects and reign by the grace of God.

“Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein; then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice”.

Stuart Close
Stuart M. Close (1860-1929)
Dr. Close was born November 24, 1860 and came to study homeopathy after the death of his father in 1879. His mother remarried a homoeopathic physician who turned Close's interests from law to medicine.

His stepfather helped him study the Organon and he attended medical school in California for two years. Finishing his studies at New York Homeopathic College he graduated in 1885. Completing his homeopathic education. Close preceptored with B. Fincke and P. P. Wells.

Setting up practice in Brooklyn, Dr. Close went on to found the Brooklyn Homoeopathic Union in 1897. This group devoted itself to the study of pure Hahnemannian homeopathy.

In 1905 Dr. Close was elected president of the International Hahnemannian Association. He was also the editor of the Department of Homeopathic Philosophy for the Homeopathic Recorder. Dr. Close taught homeopathic philosophy at New York Homeopathic Medical College from 1909-1913.

Dr. Close's lectures at New York Homeopathic were first published in the Homeopathic Recorder and later formed the basis for his masterpiece on homeopathic philosophy, The Genius of Homeopathy.

Dr. Close passed away on June 26, 1929 after a full and productive career in homeopathy.