When the light generated from undiluted homoeopathic theory and its consistent practice is thrown into the corners of the homoeopathic closet not one but many skeletons are seen. This brief study of the homoeopathic skeletons is not only made from our own standpoint we are certain, but also from that of many who have found homoeopathy most efficient, and practically sufficient, for all but a small fraction of the human ills, aided only by a simple hygiene and reinforced only by a negligible fraction of manual therapeutics of any kind. From this standpoint, then, we will attempt an interpretation of some of the contents of our family closet.
One of the things coming under this head from which we always have to suffer is empirical homoeopathy. This is either the adolescent stage through which most homoeopaths pass, or homoeopathic thought nipped in the bud, arrested development, a state pitiful to behold; or it is homoeopathy stultified by some other interest taking up the space needed for expansion. With this form apprehension of the scope and principles is lacking, remedies being prescribed on reputation and routine, in combination, or alternation, or accompanied or displaced by various non-homoeopathic expedients.
This kind of homoeopathy has a definite relation to this association and its honorable traditions and needs immediate attention. The writer believes that the remedy, so far as this association is concerned, is the immediate restoration of the probationary or associate membership and the restoration of the teeth in the Declaration of Principles. These provisions of an earlier time were wise ones. Associate or probationary membership cuts favorably both ways.
To the member on probation it is, if he really is a potential homoeopath, a stimulus and an inspiration, a means to better appreciation of homoeopathic art and of the association itself. It simplifies and clarifies the work of the censors and enables them to do justice to both the applicants……. and the society, whereas, under the present conditions it is impossible to do justice to either. The writer suggests the immediate restoration of probation.
Another thing to be included in the bony lists is the traumatism of homoeopathic practice by the specialities. Now, the writer does to forget that on the rare occasions, very rare, he has been grateful for the assurance and technique of a specialists in one thing or another. Indeed, he would refer to specialists oftener for semiologic relations and advice were it possible to keep the patient under control and prevent his vitality from being perverted and tissues damaged by local treatments and examinations.
With regret we are compelled to say that in many instances he makes himself an excoriation by his local treatments, disturbing the central vital harmony or obscuring it altogether. If all physicians understood homoeopathic principles and the outflowing processes of life, specialists would be few and far better. Individual understanding and cultivation of homoeopathics should regulate specialism and the specialist automatically. Homoeopathy is the great central fact and sun of medicine and when some ten or fifteen centuries hence the fog and darkness is lifted, the specialities will be seen to be relatively small affairs. We should attempt to cultivate an understanding with the specialist as to his real relation to homoeopathic medicine.
Another nuisance when he is not desired and a joyful help in time of real need is the surgeon. The surgeon, like the poor, we shall have with us always. As to modern surgical technique we have nothing but admiration, and as to surgical judgment as we have seen it in some individuals, that thing so much finer and more comprehensive than mere operation, we have still more admiration, and often wish that it could be coupled with homoeopathic understanding.
On the other hand we could never understand why such prestige and glamour should surround the devoted head of the surgeon compared to the faint flicker from the purely medical man. One reason, we suppose, is that the surgeon deals with concrete findings and therefore can present his views accordingly, a procedure which is adored by the common mind. Little does the general medical and lay man realize that most of that with …….. which the surgeon deals is mere precipitate of the organism and that much of it is in a fluescent state and could be reclaimed by homoeopathic understanding would see surgical need as but a speck on the map of medicine.
Also, we could never understand why we should always be advised to have a surgeon at our elbow to say whether pus is present or to tell us when to operate; nor why the homoeopathic prescriber must never, never take a chances, why he must throw his responsibleness over to the surgeon without delay. Of course, from the surgeons standpoint there is one good reason, viz: to avoid late surgery. But there always seems to be surgical misapprehension as tot he power of homoeopathy and the value of the homoeopathic knowledge of constitutions.
Therefore the surgeon may toy with life and health with impunity, but condemnation hovers over the daring prescriber, even though surgical deaths outnumber the homoeopathic by 100 to 1. To illustrate homoeopathic treatment in critical conditions we will cite two cases of appendicitis. Case 1. A woman of thirty-three was seized by a constant belt- like pain about he waist which soon gravitated to the right iliac region. There is nausea, vomiting, thirst, but repelled by the taste of water and aggravation by the least motion. Bryonia was prescribed. The next morning the pain was found to be intense, with doubling up and screaming, copious sweat, rigid abdomen, the right side like a broad, white coated tongue. P.108, temp.104.
Lachesis 1M was then given. Early the next morning the cutting pains had disappeared and there was less tenderness. Watery stools appeared and in a few days recovery was complete.
Case 2. A stout, dark muscular woman of thirty-six while on a feasting visit with friends was taken with an attack of pain in the epigastrium, which gradually shifted to the right iliac region. The local doctor diagnosed acute appendicitis, advised immediate operation and gave various drugs. Disregarding the advice, but not the drugs, the patient journeyed home 200 miles in an automobile and we also found a well marked appendicitis.
The paroxysms were cutting, aggravated by motion, jarring, after …… taking anything into the stomach and by vomiting. They were accompanied by cold sweat. Lycopodium was given in the morning. In the afternoon the pain became much more severe and constant, ameliorated by loosening the clothing, by eructation and a little after a stool, the tongue was white coated ,and the inflamed area now extended to the right hypochondria and was hypersensitive. Sulph. 1M, 4 doses, 2 hours apart was prescribed.
Next morning found some improvement in general feeling and appearance. This continued until the following day when a marked change of symptoms occurred. The general illness was no worse but the inflamed are was extremely sensitive. She was most comfortable lying on the right side and it was impossible to lie on the left. There were watery stools with much flatus, preceded by rumbling but no pain, yellow coated tongue and yellow sclerotics, thirst for cold, oily sweat, icy cold feet and legs. A dense mass of adhesions has formed about the caecal region. The temperature remained at 102 and the pulse 100.
Mercurius 1M was given and the result would have appeased the must exacting demands.
Eleven days later much of the mass was still present with drawing sensations while in certain positions. A slow stye with white stringy pus was doing its best. Kali mur. 1M ended the entire trouble.
Here were two hair-raising cases which by all the rules of ordinary necessity should have been wheeled along the usual course with ambulance and tables.
Nevertheless, with due respect to the good warnings of our surgical mentors there were good and substantial reasons, not apparent to them, why these were occasions of opportunity as well as necessity, to which the patients also had an ethical right.
The Lachesis case was a woman with fairly well marked tubercular diathesis which had been modified considerably by occasional homoeopathic prescriptions during six years. Suddenly we were started by a rapidly moving attack of acute appendicitis. Could it be that the improvement of six years was spurious? Had the central vitality gained nothing that it should now be overcome by this sudden thrust at life? What if there might be some exciting cause! The very form of the attack shows that a pent up miasm had burst forth in a way characteristic of the remote syphilitic. The tubercular constitution had been so modified, the central vitality so increased, that it could now take on the acute expression. Here was an opportunity to eliminate, probably forever, while surgery would spoil forever. We took the homoeopathic choice with the result that during the last eleven years the womans complaints have been trifling.
The other case was similar in a general way, the first prescription being apparently futile. and the Sulph. causing improvement in the general condition while the local pathology increased steadily in a vital effort to eliminate. But the decided change to Mercurius symptoms showed the way to safety. Later still another element came to the surface, the fibrosis, which was also removed by the appropriate remedy. We should have included the fact that nine months later and for three months thereafter the patient suffered attacks stimulating the crises of cholecystitis which cleared up entirely after Lyc., Sul., and Carbo. veg. During the three years following there has been no apparent need for medicine.
During twenty-five years of active homoeopathic prescribing we have had about four cases of suppurative peritonitis including the acute, gangrenous, appendiceal type, one ruptured gall bladder and about four calcular impactions. One abdominal case only has been lost and that one was highly alcoholic and the infection took place a week or more after the operation. We watch these cases closely, making three calls a day if necessary. We have sent but one case to operation needlessly. In this instance a surgeon had been called and though Coloc. had apparently ended the attack he said to the young man in his gravest manner. “You have HAD an attack of appendicitis. You had better have it out.” Three sisters and one brother stood about the bed, all with their appendices elsewhere. The writer could not bear to thwart such beautiful family concord.
One stultifying influence which runs all through contemporary homoeopathy is a servile and self-effacing faith in science. As commonly seen, we can hardly term it anything else than faith, for it is part and parcel of the common modes amounting to superstitions with its lack of perception and relative intellectual helplessness.
The infallibility and prestige of material science with its efficient specialities and technicalities has bumped our heads so often and with such apparent finality that the influence amounts to an obsession, in that it is seldom questioned in relation to the higher creative principles.
Material science has its place and we have due regard for the scientist as such, but many can live better with a a moderate dispensation of it. the excess of it, reaching into every department of human activity, visibly threatens his very existence. In medicine we should have less popularity of science and more thought. This negative influence of science really is its worst effect. It substitutes modes for independent thought. It distract attention from higher forms of truth. And it is not the highest use of the mind.
Even a cursory examination of the most ancient science known proves that our modern scientists, with the exception of certain mechanizations and technicalities, tells us only what ancient science and those who study know already and know better, because they recognize the general governing principles. It is amusing to see one wonderful discovery after another made by modern scientists which had already been thought out by ancient science according to principles.
As to homoeopathic science, it occupies that central and vital polarity between material science and the science of mind. We should give each its due credit and also its due scepticism. For one thing, the excessive collecting of material facts is essentially servility to fashion as is also the intemperate mechanical accuracy; and the demand and deposits of scientific proof is too often not worthy of mature men. Let us think, perceive, speak more and copy less.
Another degenerative sign, though probably not especially long-lived, is the adoption of sera, vaccines, etc. The writer hastens to confess that in two cases of laryngeal diphtheria he did use antitoxin for the purpose of softening the membrane, though to be still more honest, it was done for the experiment as much as anything. The results in these two pharyngeal cases were loathsome.
Also we do not refuse to vaccinate children under the law so as to be able to offset the effects when possible. But we let our objections be clearly understood. The empirical use of these inventions by homoeopaths speaks language well understood by the thorough going homoeopath. These dyscrasia producing methods have no place beside the well nigh universal art of healing.
One of the influences slowly choking the vitality out of homoeopathy is politics and organization. This we may forgive but should not forget. It results from a fundamental misconception of the tremendous negative power of homoeopathy and to a lack of vision as to its possibilities as a negative influence. In this respect many of our organizations appear almost hopeless. As to this particular organization, in a presidential address a few years ago the writer gave a warning as to the purpose and function of this association. At that time it was given with but faint assurance but the issue now is clear.
The radical point of departure appears to be in two different conceptions as to the purpose of organized homoeopathy. One conception is the militant one of going forth to gather in the sheaves, tares and whatnot and build up with numbers, spreading the organizing gospel to every living creature with lining up and face-about-march efficiency. To accomplish this the inevitable clique and machine is developed, extension of official influence is spread out, doubtful homoeopaths are run in and degeneration has begun.
The other conception appears to be as our organization was at first, a close association of homoeopaths capable of practising the art in its purity, devoted to two things, the protection and intensive cultivation of the philosophy and art of homoeopathy and the attraction thereby of minds with vision and will to do likewise.
Bernard Shaw said, “What you organize you kill”. While this is true in a special and spiritual sense yet organization is thrust upon us by the very conditions in which we live. At least we all believe so, which amounts to the same thing. Let us take organization and politics in as small a dose as possible for the inevitable end product is the development of self interests.
The writer believes that the roots of all the evils from which organized homoeopathy suffers is first, of course, immature homoeopathic conception and second, a dim vision of the power of purely negative, that is, concrete homoeopathy, both in details and in general influence. This is the thing that makes issues. This is a time of issues. Even in this heretofore close association the time is at hand when we ;must decide to devote our interest to evangelical homoeopathy with the consequent deterioration of ideals and standards, or whether we should maintain probation, restore the teeth in the Declaration of Principles and preserve that severe and worthy standard of membership and work which was the honorable purpose and tradition of the organization for many previous years. If we do not decide beforehand these issues will bring the inevitable cleft. Anyhow, there is no need for worry for there is more fun in relativity than in homogenity, take it as you will.
The last item of which we will speak at this time is economics. Economics is so inextricably woven with every phase of modern life that it is difficult to say where it begins or end, or where it is not. How extensively it influences organized medicine probably no one knows not even the insiders of its central vertices. So powerful is the pressure in our modern system of living that we cannot always distinguish economics from commercialism. That there is commercialism in the regular old school almost every mail delivery is a demonstration.
That it exists in the homoeopathic school one has but to turn the advertising pages of our homoeopathic journals. We must admit, though, that here it is a great help. Because if you cant find the indicated remedy here is plenty of everything else to go with the glass and water or to take the place of it. As to the Hahnemannian or pure homoeopaths our financial status is more economic, for the back cover of our official journal is testimony to the fact that we are doing business on the magnificient basis of five dollars per head per annum plus the other receipts.
All these conditions mentioned are but symptoms of a constitutional state of homoeopathic sluggishness both of the psyche and the mind. Homoeopathic thought and vision comes best with occasional visits to the higher realm, the pure mountain air of individual meditation and invocation. How to escape to it from the pressure and constraints of modern life is a most serious problem for everyone.
DR.KRICHBAUM: I have made it a rule for sometime not to spank a baby because it cant walk. I changed from the other school to this, and I am sure if I had been told that I couldnt sit with gods anointed until I had by robe washed, I would never have gotten in. I am glad I am in. I dont think it is wise to hold a fellow out who is trying to see the light. So I make a plea for us younger fellows.
DR.UNDERHILL, JR.,: I enjoyed Dr.Hayes excellent paper and it almost seems as if he had tuned in on the same broadcasting station that I did when writing a paper along similar lines. Of course it is “everybody to his trade”. A surgeon cuts, naturally, that is his business, that is what he is equipped for; you cant expect him to do anything else. When a tailor looks at you, he is bound to notice your clothes. You look like a suit of clothes to him. You like a shave and a haircut to a barber, and so on through all the departments of life. There is an enormous amount of unnecessary surgery. I venture to say 900 per cent of it is unnecessary. If it were all done for charity or for reasonable remuneration there would be practically no unnecessary surgery. There is money in it and so they grind their knives.
If a man is practicing medicine and limiting his practice to homoeopathy and an appendicitis case comes along, it is criminal to prescribe for that patient. If he dies, the doctor ought to be sent to jail, but if he gets surgical care, whether he has appendicitis or perhaps pneumonia and dies, of course the operation was successful! and so the merry war goes on.
DR.PULFORD: I enjoyed Dr.Hayess paper very much. He touched on admission into this association. I want to say right on this floor, whether you put me out or whether you dont, that I was disappointed when I got in, and I think we should go back to the first principles for which this association was originally formed, that is, every member should come in on probation. I firmly believe in it. I think it is right and just.
This association represents everything that is in homoeopathy; if not, it doesnt represent anything. The A.I.H. has gone to the walk, and we are just as rapidly following. If we are going to keep up the standards for this association as it was originally organized, we must put up the bars.
DR.MCLAREN: Talking about unnecessary operations, I would like to ask the members of this association to furnish reports of the bad effects of tonsil removal. This subject was brought very forcibly to my mind a few days ago. A young man of 32 or 33 consulted me for a very serious trouble with his head which he had had since he was 8 years old. I didnt see him, but he wrote to me from a distance. From the age of eight his head had never been quiet except when he was sleep; there was always a jerky motion. I asked him if he had had a fall or an injury to his head or spine about that time, about the time his trouble began. The response came back promptly, “No, I had no fall and no injury; I had my tonsils removed.
The fundamental rule in treating chronic diseases, is this,to let the carefully selected homoeopathic antipsoric act as long as it is capable of exercising a curative influence, and there is a visible improvement going on in the system. This rule is opposed to the hasty prescription of a new, or the immediate repetition of the same remedy.-HAHNEMANN.