47b Welbeck Street,
Cavendish Square, W.I.
July 29, 1927.
DEAR DR. STUART CLOSE:.
It was a great disappointment to some of us not to see you. And you would have enjoyed the Congress? It went off very well, and made up for all the work-and worry-preparing for it.
I am just off-to recover! but must write you a line before I go.
The Congress should help to raise the status of Homoeopathy here. And some of the American doctors were very pleased with how things went. They will tell you. The Prince of Wales was not only our Patron, but he wrote us a charming message of greeting. The Lord Mayor presided at a meeting at the Mansion House, at his invitation, and we had a fine crowd there. And Wheeler made one of his telling and tactful orations. He has the power of putting things instructively and charmingly for the laity and for non- homoeopaths. He is interesting-and convincing. Nothing but good can come of that.
Then Gordon Selfridge gave a reception to the Congress at Lansdowne House-one of the great houses of London, which he leases from Lord Lansdowne. Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, was present, and very charming, and Selfridges daughter, Princess Wiasemsky, was receiving. Lord Dysart (the Earl) invited a large Congress PArty to Ham House, one of the beautiful historical homes of England, to Garden Party.
Sir Jagadis Bose gave a wonderful lecture, in connection with the Congress, but just before it took place, showing the effects of poisons on plants, lethal in large doses, and revitalising and stimulating, in small doses. Sir Oliver Lodge also gave us a lecture, and Sir Frederick Keeble. These were for Congress members and friends and patients. They were all crowded, and very successful.
I will enclose programme of the real Congress business. Three were a lot of good papers, which will be printed in Congress Transactions. Boyd had a lot of his apparatus down from Glasgow, and gave some find demonstrations, besides his paper. This will be printed.
Lady Perks and Mrs. Balfour Williamson also entertained the Congress ladies and took them to Windsor Castle and to Hampton Court.
Altogether-with a large banquet to end up, it all went off very well. Besides the Americans, there were some very live wires among the foreign doctors-keen men-and men of our way of thinking-Mattoli from Italy-Pierre Schmidt from Switzerland-a fine old Swede-and many languages were spoken. The Germans are going ahead with homoeopathy-among them Haehl was very interesting, and the elder Meng is quite a personality. Professor Friedlander came over at his own request, to address the Congress. He is not a doctor, and not a homoeopath, but very interested.
Haehls address was very interesting. He told us how he began collecting Hahnemann relics at the age of eighteen, and how he had practically devoted his life to it. And he told us a lot about how he had at last discovered Hahnemanns Casebooks-forty of them! and a lot of valuable stuff with them.
Dr. Gladwin also charmed the Congress. We got her to talk, instead of reading her paper. And we drew our chairs up round her while she told us, in her charming way, about the last corrections to the REpertory, and about Kent, and the last time she saw him. She made us all realise his undaunted will: working- lying down-rising to do a little more-then having to lie down and rest again. We shall all remember the touching picture she painted for us.
Many big men have poured out their lives into Homoeopathy- besides Hahnemann. A CAuse for which so much has been sacrificed, cannot die.
To the Editor,
THE HOMOEOPATHIC RECORDER,
1011 Arch St.,
Philadelphia, Pa. U.S.A.
I hope that the following remarks will not be classed as “fanatical, hysterical,” or as savoring of “insane vacuity” (see page 238, May RECORDER), but there are two sides to every question.
Personally, I think it a mistake to drop the word or name “Homoeopathic” belonging to any institution, organisation, book, pharmacy, or what not, until, and not until, the old school shall have made some honorable pronouncement as to Homoeopathy! It is our due, and our clientele have some rights herein!.
Only this last winter, during my very humble wanderings in the south of France, I came across elderly ladies, in two hotels, who were suffering greatly. They had wanted Homoeopathy at the local doctors hands, and had been told they could hat it. But from what I found, they were being made ill solely from overdrugging, at the hands of men who knew nothing of Homoeopathy. These women had been used to Homoeopathy all their lives; there are thousands such so stranded, from time to time.
I think, the world over, we should retain our classification, as physicians, and for literature, pharmacies, hospitals, etc., else how can our clientele know where to seek the beneficent aid they want and demand.
I grant that the old school are coming our way, and nothing suits their book so well as to be allowed their silent (if somewhat crude) appropriate of our methods-until we shall be left high and day, with a very bastard substitute foisted on our clientele, and we never having obtained a just honorable acknowledgment of what we have stood for during 130 odd years.
It is one thing for doctors working in such huge centers, such as in this New York Homoeopathic Hospital mentioned in your article, which is firmly established by the contributions and privations of countless subscriptions from ardent Homoeopaths; and it is quite another thing for the majority of our profession laboring far away from the protection of such huge hospitals and bodies.
The majority of our men are losing strength, and caste even, by the “volte face” of our big centers which are dropping the word Homoeopathy. I must confess, without any fanaticism or hysteria or insane vacuity, that I am heart and soul in the preservation of our distinctive nomenclature, until such time as we have open admission that there was, and is, a truth in Homoeopathy and Hahnemann, and I will throw my lot in with any organization which is wise enough to so proclaim and insist, until we have some admission from the leading colleges in the Old School, even then I don;t quite see how we can erase the name from books and pharmacies, else how can we discover just such teaching and reference as will be required for all time to come.
I see in the article quoted above (RECORDER, May 27, p. 238) mention is made of “Rohr of England, using highly potentised (attenuated) doses of Tuberculin.” Did he mention that he was following in somebodys guiding footsteps, or did he infer all this was his own brain wave?.
I have seen in the old school journals of England a strange claim: “Comfrey-a new cell proliferent,” by old school leaders (two working together) who said they had searched all literature for fifty years back and had not found a single instance of the use, or mention of, such a wonderful drug. They stole it wholesale, and had not the generosity nor honor to say that Homoeopathy had used it for the whole of said fifty years, and so it will go on. Their “discoveries” are all their own and Homoeopathy be damned!.
Is it fair? It is sane? Should we not still hold on The admission will never come if our big centers betray their (our) trust. The Hindoos have a saying “under the lamp is the greater darkness”.
Yours sincerely, for square deal, which is in our keeping for our patrons, and financial adherents, who are more enthusiastic for Homoeopathic benefits than of the profession (evidently).
E. PETRIE HOYLE, Hon, Administrative Secretary, Ninth Quinquennial International Homoeopathic Congress.
Editor HOMOEOPATHIC RECORDER,
Open and free discussion of a subject is a good thing, and to be encouraged. The responses to my letter in the May RECORDER, though they give a few indications of irritation, if not of real anger, make me feel that the few “digs” I gave our good-natured editor in that letter were worth giving, especially as he told me he enjoyed them.
The third paragraph in DR. Underhills letter, page 350, August RECORDER may, I think, be taken as a clear, concise and authoritative statement of the position of the symptomatologists as a group. At any rate, the position which he therein takes is really the crux of the present discussion. He says: “In each case of illness, the subjective and objective symptoms present to the observing and intelligent physician the picture of the individual sick patient. The remedy that has produced in its provings essentially similar symptoms is the indicated or homoeopathic remedy for the patient.
This statement at once leads one to ask: What criterion has the physician which enables him to say definitely that he has disclosed all or even the essential symptoms in a case if he has concerned himself with symptoms only? A loquacious patient we all know is not stingy about handing out symptoms, but what about a reticent or morose patient or one that does not speak the doctors language? Obviously his “grubbing” ability and capacity is his only criterion.
It is not in the least difficult to prescribe for the prostrated, cold, restless, tormented and fearful patient who has a burning thirst, etc., but do we many failures? Why doesnt some one try and defend the symptomatic method of selecting a remedy by his failures? We all know only too well how difficult it is to get clearly defined symptoms, in chronic cases particularly, and how often we fumble in the selection of the appropriate remedy; why is it no one ever speaks of this, and show how wonderfully easy it is to fail with this method?.
But even if we were always successful in finding the similimum with this method, it is possible that even then we should be lacking in essential knowledge in the case. Symptoms per se tell us nothing of the cause of variation, of predisposition or of susceptibility; tell us no more than does pathological tissue under the microscope. Moreover, symptoms tell us nothing of the cause of variation in reaction which is always observed when making a proving on a number of individuals. They do not tell us why one reacted in one way, another in a different way while another failed utterly to react.
And does anyone mean to say that a knowledge of these things is unessential when we come to study and to teach materia medica and to prescribe? Do the pathogenetic records of bryonia and nux, for example, tell us anything about why in some respects there are marked similarities and in other respects equally marked dissimilarities? Why does opium make one person desperately sleepy while another is aroused to the point of ecstasy? How is it that ginseng is able to produce symptoms in some individuals quite identical to those which belladonna produces in others? Why does bryonia produce constipation in some and diarrhoea in others? Why a thousand other whys? Do the symptoms themselves tell us?.
DR. Underhill further tell us that: “Structural changes, observable pathology and demonstrable alterations in the body are very often late manifestations-too late, in fact, to be of much service i prescribing for the patient.” Perfectly true. But so are symptoms many times. Only a knowledge of Modern Morphology enables the physician to get there first. This knowledge makes predisposition and susceptibility as clear if not clearer than symptoms and pathology make the end products of disease.
And the physician who possesses this knowledge can make far better use of his homoeopathic remedies in combatting these than the symptom can the symptoms of actual disease. Neither pathology alone nor symptoms alone can tell us with absolute certainty the cause of a morbid process or the reason for the particular clinical course which it assumes in different individuals. Hence both are to that extent uncertain as bases for therapeutic measures. Only the science of Morphology makes these things clear.
Let us not forget that it is Morphology only which concerns itself with a study of the factors which make the individual what he is. Neither pathology nor symptomatology does. They concern themselves with end-products of morbid processes only. What the symptomatologist does with the time-honored method of examining a patient is, he extracts such symptoms from the individual as he is able, separates them from the individual entirely, creates what he is pleased to call an image, which he seeks to match with another artificially and arbitrarily created image.
The real image, the individual, is shunted to one side. He has delivered something to work with, and nothing more is expected of him, or wanted with him. The arrangement of the symptoms which have been extracted in the creation of the image depends on what repertory is used. The person who uses Kents arranges his symptoms one way while the one who uses Boenninghausens arranges them in another way. The hole in the card repertory demands still a different arrangements. And in all this what becomes of the individual from whom the symptoms were extracted? Entirely lost sight of.
Thus we have gone on struggling with methods in a measure useful, but wholly unscientific. Because we have been able to learn a scheme or a trick which now and then enabled us to hit the nail on the head we have felt that we were scientists. When the scheme or trick failed us we were not dismayed; in the next case we simply tried a little harder to make it work. Seal has been made to take the place of science. And so we have gone on until the shadow of the undertaker is at the gate of the homoeopathic institution. The doleful last gasps some think they already hear. The thousand whys in the materia medica not only remain unanswered, but there are those who look upon every attempt to find an answer as an impertinence.
And finally, let no one jump to the conclusion that I condemn the repertory, or that I have no use for symptoms. What I condemn is the idea that all that is needed to treat a patient intelligently is symptoms and that the repertory is the last work. In such folly lies death to our cause.
Hotel Buckingham, New York.
August 30, 1927.
Editor, THE HOMOEOPATHIC RECORDER:.
I want to voice my wholehearted appreciation of DR. Philip Rices very much needed article. Totality of symptoms means one thing to one person and an entirely different thing to someone else. Our present modus operandi leaves entirely too much leeway to the personal equation to ever become very popular with students or to become successfully manipulated by many physicians, and some definite signposts to assist in the work are sorely needed. Dr. Tomhagen worked some along temperatures; however, it was a little too crude to be of much value. Now, if we take into consideration that results are always predestined by its causes, and that it requires certain soils to grow and produce certain manner of vegetation, then can we appreciate that temperament is at least one of the legs necessary to be considered in an intelligent prescription. I want to thank Dr. Rice for voicing his conviction. The present-day direction of wanting to reprove medicine along laboratory lines of blood pressure, etc., may be very interesting but will never be a thousandth part as helpful as an accurate tabulation of medicines as they affect temperaments.
Another much mooted question is “potency.” It took over twenty- three years of study to encounter my first reasonable exposition of when to prefer giving certain potencies, and why?.
Dr. John Hutchinson deserves the wholehearted and unrestricted gratitude of every conscientious homoeopathic physician for his valuable essay.
Now, we come to probably the most important of all the disputed questions, namely “Repetition of Dose.” I would like to read some rules, if there are any, that are somewhat workable. To give a dose and let it work 3-6 months is simply ridiculous, and if the prescription in the case has been S.L. then is beyond my ability to express my thoughts.
In one case I have repeated daily for several years in 1 m., 50 m. and c.m. potencies with steady improvement which ceased the minute S.L. was substituted. I was told that I made a poor selection. Maybe I did, but why was there no aggravation or proving at any time.
The question to be proven or disproven is: “Does too early repetition of dose interfere with curative action? If not, then why not repeat as long as not aggravation results?”.
My rule has been to repeat as soon as symptoms reappear, but that necessitates to let patient know that he has two different kinds of powders and I do not consider that the wisest kind to procedure-it makes the patient the judge.
H.C. SCHMIDT, M.D.
11100 Sunshine Terrace,.
Los Angeles, Cal.