We hear it said over and over that there has been more progress in all lines of endeavor from 1920 to 1930 than in any previous decade.
Surely the pace of living and thinking has been swift, almost madly swift, so that many lose mental balance trying to keep up. The number of physical breakdowns through vital organs and through the nervous system is amazing, until this unsafe accelerated speed is taken into account. Spiritually too, there is so much readjustment that poor minds and bodies are torn with the conflict of it. Socially one wave of crime after another shocks communities until one wonders when and where it can stop.
The ever increasing search for money and for entertainment, “the passing show”, constitute the controlling interest of a wonderfully large percentage of the people. No subject seems sacred any more, so free is discussion and so flippant ones vocabulary. Many predict the approaching end of civilization if not the end of the world itself, and alarming picture!.
But there is entirely too much to be drawn on the other side to become pessimistic.
Living beside all this frivolous, careless, superficial attitude of the masses are sober-minded, earnest people in numbers probably never reached before. They do not make the noise or create the disturbance these others do, but they are working steadily, in orderly sequence, to help produce a time rich in the high character of its people and yet permeated through and through with the intellectual and material achievement of the last decades of this present age.
Therefore we have to ask ourselves how much in these last ten years is permanent and how much is only busyness. How much real progress can we see? And, as we are interested in the place of homoeopathy in it all, how can we best bring our well beloved art of healing into the picture of progress as the new age dawns?.
Homoeopathy belongs to the thinking people. We must make our appeal to them and do it according to definite, well-made plans. Who, then, we the thinking people of this day and generation?.
In chemistry we find them studying the activities of millions upon millions of infinitesimal organisms within the atom which, until recently, was supposed to be the limit of the divisibility of matter. We find them applying new-found knowledge in modern chemistry to the latest intricate detail of manufacture of all sorts of useful and artistic things. The chemistry of foods is occupying the attention of some things as it never did before. Applied chemistry is fascinating, as the old abstract study never could be.
In physics we find many of our best minds hard at work, bent on providing easier, more efficient ways and means for their fellow man. We see glimpses only of the advance in chemistry and physics in the contemplation of textiles (new weaves, colors), treatment of leathers, adaptation of materials to cooking utensils, manufacture of glass, potteries, brass-ware; the use of fuel oils; the manufacture of automobiles; new building materials, paving of streets, electric wiring, etc. We see much in the activities of the government Bureau of Standards, the Agricultural department, Smithsonian Institution and national Museums. For one instance, think of the growth of the canning industry! Then, when we contemplate recent developments in electrical appliances, in radio knowledge, and in aeronautics, we come upon marvels without end.
A generation ago few people knew what sanitary science meant or mental hygiene. Now we owe so much to these things and to a better understanding of diet, that it is hard to realize the difference.
In the realm of metaphysics the same painstaking progress appears. Students are busy interpreting the esoteric into terms of modern thought in order to give us clear understanding and working equipment. One school of thought is showing us oriental teachings in terms of the Christian Bible and so opening up new appreciation of that wonderful collection of books.
The social science are forging ahead. One has only to contemplate recent advances in psychology, in sociology, in altruistic activity to be sure the next epoch in this worlds history will be far finer than this one. There is a great deal of evidence that man loves his brother man, for there are works which show practical studies of the needs of all sorts of people. One instance is the wonderfully understanding plans of World War relief in foreign countries.
So there has been tremendous progress in the general sciences in ten years.
How about the arts and the philosophies?.
It would seem that the fine arts have not advanced much. We have few really great painters, musicians, actors, but the arts as they touch the sciences have gone ahead remarkably. The useful arts (and medicine is one of these), the art of efficiency, the art of living, these are making strides forward.
The placing of each individual properly in his relation to himself, his family, his neighbor, all his fellow men, his community, his state, his country, this planet and all the universe is being methodically and painstakingly considered by outstanding men and women. The study of mental reactions, control of will, personal responsibility, the effect of rewards and punishments, the meaning of spiritual experience, the recognition and best use of opportunity; these are the practical directions in which present-day philosophy is moving.
Why all this general, indefinite discourse you ask in a medical meeting? Because this is the environment of homoeopathy; we must view homoeopathy against the background of this picture.
All the foregoing shows that the background of our picture of a decade of progress is far stronger, more distinct, more active than the foreground. The general foreground is medicine and this is darkened by selfishness of organizations and individuals, by medical politics, petty wrangling, etc.
When the clouds are cleared away, we see fine progress in diagnosis, surgery sanitation, hygiene, but not much endeavor to place medicine in complete harmony with the general background.
The specific foreground is homoeopathy. This is far more obscured than medicine in general. It is a vitally useful art, so intimately related to every one of the elements in that distinct and active background that a harmonious picture might result if these relationships were brought out clearly and the homoeopathic profession itself were a strong, harmonious unit.
Why is homoeopathy obscured? There is no use dwelling on the blind prejudice against it of the vast majority of physicians and the organized effort among them to wipe it out of the picture; this is well known.
What probably is not so well known is the willingness of non-medical cults to know more about it and the eagerness to use it among the few who do know about it.
Ignorance is the greatest enemy homoeopathy has. This does a thousand times more to darken the foreground of our picture than prejudice ever can, and homoeopathic physicians, as a class, are doing little to remedy this condition.
A very few homoeopathic physicians are trying to prove the truths of the Law of Similars and its corollaries so that the research workers of today will appreciate their value and begin to study them. These few have much opposition from their confreres, to say nothing of the obstacles in getting publicity for their work.
More physicians of the older school are finding the way to homoeopathy by their open-minded investigations, not knowing by name whither they are tending.
Some basic science workers are formulating tenets which prove the truths of homoeopathy before many of the physicians are ready to accept them. Investigators in metaphysics and the occult sciences are doing the same thing.
All these people are ignorant of the help to be obtained from the best of our homoeopathic prescribers and most of these prescribers themselves are busy with daily office routine, not seeing the vital importance of taking part in educating patients and communities in the principles of the very healing art they love more than anything else.
Truly the foreground of our picture is clouded. We should not turn away from it on that account, for opportunity beckons from every part of the orderly, clear background. Those who say that homoeopathy is bound to go under, to be lost under its present name and in its present form cannot read the signs of the times.
What, then is to be done about it? There are three definite things that we, as homoeopathic physicians, can do to bring light to the foreground of our picture by spreading abroad the news of homoeopathy.
First, we can become earnestly desirous of working together to give our to our country the essence of homoeopathy. We can become open-minded, unprejudiced and industrious, eager to help.
Second, we can search out the one man or woman in each of the basic sciences, the useful arts and the philosophies who knows his subject thoroughly, who is open-minded and who is the sort best adapted mentally to study homoeopathic philosophy.
We can go to this person, offer adequate remuneration for the service desired, secure his consent to investigate homoeopathy thoroughly and write a treatise fro us on its relation to his own specialty.
Then we can publish this treatise and send it out to every physician in the United States, to every prominent worker in the field chosen and to all other well known students we might have on our mailing lists.
So with each one of the subjects with which we wish to correlate homoeopathy. The result be a series of able treatises by those whose voices would be heeded by the thinking people forming the background of the picture.
Of course such procedure would cost money; all worth while things do. If we homoeopathic physicians who love our prescribing art, are enough in earnest and can work together, the choice of people to write the treatises and their consent to do the necessary preliminary work in cooperation with us would make a telling appeal to those who have money to give.
Third, we, as physicians, can study the correlated subjects and be alert to appreciate the work of those who will work with us in writing the treatises.
Would not these three procedures be worth while? Are they not practical? Do they not fit into present-day need? Would they not prepare the way to bring light into the foreground of the picture of a decade of progress, enabling homoeopathy to take its place?.
The American Foundation for Homoeopathy constitutes a clearing house for just this kind of cooperative endeavor. Its Bureau of Research would be the place for the work here outlined.
“A man with a truth is a man with a torch.
His duty lies in the dark places”.
CHAIRMAN J.W. WAFFENSMITH: We have heard a great dead this afternoon about what is not being done. Let us take a few minutes to speak about something that is being done. I went to the second annual Physicians-Laymen Conference this spring. It was my first visit to the Laymens Conference. I was surprised at what Dr. Green and Dr. Ross are doing for the laymen. Speaking about homoeopathic education, I have never seen any laymen better qualified to speak on homoeopathic philosophy from a laymans standpoint than these laymen in Washington. It is a remarkable and commendatory work. I would urge each member of this Association to make it his business to visit the next annual Laymens Conference in Washington and enter into the conversation and discussion. I assure you you will be agreeably surprised.
DR. A. PULFORD: You must remember there are two sides to this question. We have been going down, down, down. Twenty years ago I predicted the whole thing.
You can go out and propagate homoeopathy all over but if you cant furnish the men to do the work what good is it? If you have the men to do the work and dont propagate the thing what good is it? You have to consider both sides.
I have spent several hundred dollars in spreading the knowledge of homoeopathy, sending it all around the world, and we have educated the people. We find no trouble. But we aim to back up homoeopathy, and that is what we must do. If we dont do that, we will go down, no matter what else we do. All our propaganda will fall flat. We must back it up, and they know the difference. Our patients know the difference. We send medicine into every state in the Union. Our patients follow us up.
So, educate the people in pure homoeopathy and have men ready to take care of the results of your propaganda, otherwise you might just as well just your money in your pocket or light a cigar with it.
Touching the practical of dose, we quote the reply of Hahnemann to his friend and follower. Dr. Schreeter (who wrote the master for advice in the treatment of certain cases) as follows: “Your want of success in the cases recorded is certainly owing to rapid changes of remedies, too often unfitting dynamization…..and too large doses”. (Bradfords Life, p. 184)- A.R. MORGAN, M.D., 1895.