Read before the Annual Meeting of the International Hahnemannian Association, Philadelphia, July, 1926.
The love of wisdom should actuate all true homoeopaths. As the editor of the Toledo Times truly state: “Common sense is all that makes a college education valuable.” We ourselves deem it more important to be intelligently ignorant than to be ignorantly intelligent, i.e., to be open to conviction rather that closed to conviction. The empty vessel is always available, the filled one never.
There are some factors absolutely necessary in our philosophy, which are not usually brought out or considered and more often seldom practiced. They are: The knowledge of what constitutes a cure; the value of “sticktoitiveness,” of ignorance, of patience and of being unprejudiced.
It took us forty years to prove to our own satisfaction just what constitution a cure in the true, homoeopathic conception of the term. The very cure, as it is used, i quite variable in its meaning, elusive and very often misunderstood by those who should and who are supposed to understand it best. To the surgeon elimination means cure. To the allopath, the modern homoeopath or the pantherapist suppression, diversion or elimination means cure.
But to the true homoeopath a cure consists of but one thing, and that is the eradication of the predisposition to the disease to be cured. When this is accomplished the disease can never return, neither can it be transmitted. This and this alone constituted a true homoeopathic cure. We all talk freely and supposedly intelligently about the cures we make, but mighty few of us could positively state that we had made a positive cure. It is a subject easier states than proved.
The truly philosophical mind is the truly unprejudiced mind. The most flagrant mark of ignorance any being can display is to close his mind to conviction. This one act alone cost us just thirty years of loss to ourselves and injury to our patients, a wrong we can never right. We have been dubbed intolerant and prejudiced because we would not hark back to the falsity we had left behind, but never by men who had anything better to offer. We are by no means wedded to homoeopathy and as soon as some one can convince us of something better we shall gladly embrace it. Much of the prejudice brought to bear against homoeopathy is brought by men who least understand it. Homoeopathy is considered by them a finished product.
Every curative agent according to their views has been thoroughly proved, homoeopathy has therefore been weighed and found wanting, and because they have failed in some particular cases in which they did not have the right remedy they blamed their failures on homoeopathy instead of blaming their own ignorance, and this developed a prejudice to homoeopathy. As a result they start to shout from the housetops the limitations of homoeopathy. These men must have a wonderful insight.
Suppose for one moment if the radio, he telephone, the automobile or the aeroplane had been treated when half completed as homoeopathy is now being treated, would we be enjoying what we are enjoying today? Then why not destroy green-eyed prejudice and go on with the developing and perfecting of homoeopathy and put ourselves in a position to cure the cases that are baffling us today?.
Now let us stress to you the value of ignorance in medicine. By this we mean intelligent ignorance, the ignorance that maintains an open mind. It is this kind of ignorance that has enabled us to accomplish many things that our more fortunately (?) intelligent brethren failed to accomplish. On the one had it made us more anxious to learn, on the other we are not so positive. The physician who does not know, but is so positive that he does know, seals far more deaths than the man who does not know and knows that he does not know. We have often taken a patient over a crisis because we did not know the patient was moribund, after the man who did not know, but was positive that he did know, had sealed the patients doom in his own mind.
We are frank to state to you right here that we do not know the limitation of homoeopathy and feel that no one living has sufficient grasp of it in its entirety to define its limits. We are curing right along patient who are said to have passed the line of demarcation placed by those who are egotistical enough to think they know just where to place that mark. We are frank to state that we do not know when a case is or is not curable. We have had so many pleasant surprises that we are not surprised at anything any more, excepting at the ignorance of men who are supposed to be intelligent.
Lastly, let me call your attention to two very important prerequisites for a homoeopathic physician: patience and sticktoitiveness. From lack of patience we lose most of our patients. Too many of us are looking for results, quick results at all costs, the cure being quite forgotten in the melee. In our haste and superintelligence we try to our-do God and override every known natural law. Like Arrowsmiths medical scientists we must discover the diphtheria germ today and promise a life immunity tomorrow; or like the inventor, we must discover a coast of paint that will never wear off. Anything for a name and fame, and to get rich quickly.
The patient? Oh, the patient be damned. We have not time to wait for the remedy to act, or a cure to take place, we must get action. This is the idea of the modern doctor. Then with a lying heart he tells the bereaved that all that science can devise has been done for the patient and lets them get all the solace they can put of a spectacular funeral. All of this is revolting to the true physician. The true physician is born and not made, and among his prerequisites are patience to study and await results, and sticktoitiveness to make his work not only a success but a real pleasure. The greatest recreation we have found yet has been in reaching the goal in a real critical case and restoring to the bosom of the family the patient whose health they so honestly longed for.