In this paper I make no claim to profundity of thought. Rather I must plead guilty to being the author of what might be well termed a rambling paper. Possibly because of this there is some little originality achieved, although of that I am not certain. Even if I repeat an already current thought I feel that a reiteration of that idea is commendable.
While a pupil I was much interested in homoeopathy. This statement proves nothing other than that I was of a disposition philosophical. An oft indulged analysis of the mental traits of my classmates led me to a conclusion that I was one of a small number who were interested in the subject. Contemplation of that fact led me to indulge in a closer scrutiny of the material from which were to be molded the future cohorts of homoeopathic physicians. Needles to say I have become an enthusiastic advocate of the Hahnemannian precepts, yet I feel that this enthusiasm has not prevented me from drawing sane conclusions.
Matriculates of a homoeopathic medical college are essentially a heterogeneous group in no way possessing greater homoeopathic physicians. Needles to say I have become an enthusiastic advocate of the Hahnemannian precepts, yet I feel that this enthusiasm has not prevented me from drawing sane conclusions.
Matriculates of a homoeopathic medical college are essentially a heterogeneous group in no way possessing greater homoeopathic propensities than similar groups in any other college. That each and every one of these men will develop into a homoeopathic physician is an assumption which only the most fanatical optimist could entertain. Among the average class there will be those who, by reason of their innate mental characteristics, will tend to develop into laboratory workers, others, possessing an innate impulse of another kind, will gradually lean toward surgery. The gradual development of these diverse tendencies becomes increasingly apparent to the teacher as the years pass and it is more and more impressed upon the observer of this academic unfoldment that, in spite of all that he may or may not do, he is unable to greatly alter the end result.
This does not imply that the homoeopathic doctrine is such that its teaching calls forth on the part of the pupil an opposite reaction which has as its cause the doctrine itself. Rather it is an illustration of the fundamental fact that only a certain percentage of any given class, a percentage which varies little from year to year and which has limits of little elasticity, is open to impregnation with the germ of the homoeopathic conceit. Conclusions drawn from an analysis such as this, may be logically applied to the entire medical profession, giving us pause to realize that our particular method of therapy will never become so popular as to be subscribed to and practised by more than that limited number who adopt internal medicine as their field of endeavor.
Therefore I would urge that we cease all efforts to proselytize those who, by their very natures, are exempt from such an accomplishment on our part, and that we refrain from condemnation of those who fail to see things from our own viewpoint for, in doing those things, we are apt to find such occupation so pleasurable and self commendatory, that we lose valuable time and fail in progressive accomplishments.
There fore I suggest that in the years to come we devote our attention to the systematic accumulation of data, scientific, concrete, accurate and conclusive, sufficient in quality and quantity to amply justify those oft repeated and reiterated assertions made by our selves concerning the validity of the law of similars, the necessity of the totality, the efficacy of the small dose, not to mention the doctrines of suppression of eruptions, the tenacity of psora and the profundity of sycosis.
I do not hesitate to state that to substantiate our claims we today possess little more than anecdotal evidence which has no accepted place on the rostrum. That iota of conclusive or half conclusive proofs of the truth of homoeopathy has been chiefly the work of alien investigators. It is not a pleasant task to confront an old school colleague today, one who displays an interest to learn, with the sketchy and insubstantial literature and source material at our disposal.
An honest confession is said to be good for the soul and, although I may be branded as raising a dissenting voice or of injecting a note of disharmony, I make haste to suggest that possibly it would be well for us to confess our acts of omission which have been termed the greater sins. Since the times of Hahnemann there has never been a coordinated analysis of all the conflicting claims, counter claims and denials which have had their birth in the intervening years with an unbiased, impersonal adjudication and coincident synthesis into some sort of a harmonious system.
That such a progressive step is of prime importance cannot be disputed although it is quite apparent that, because of the intrinsic nature of the entire subject, the task is of herculean proportions. In this connection it is pertinent to remark that after the lapse of a hundred years the question of dosage remains to cause schisms. The three great repertories, books which certainly have a claim to being authoritative, in a great many major respects, and in a host of minor respects, differ. If authorities differ then we exhibit culpable vulnerability. From the tremendous imagination of a Burnett to the apologetic homoeopathy of a thousand homoeopaths there seems to exist all grades of purity which is a situation that will persist till that day when we shall synthesize all that which has been proven true into a comprehensive epitome.
That which is essential to artistic homoeopathic prescribing is of an entirely different nature than the concrete, material, objective with which I have dealt thus far. Yet, inasmuch as we must first creep before we walk, and lisp before we talk, the material, the concrete and the objective, is of primary importance for it is through the material that the immaterial works and manifests itself. Thus it logically follows that a proper understanding of the material manifestations permit of a comprehensive and imaginative conception of the behavior of the immaterial, the potential.
I have sought to draw attention to the grave shortcomings we display in the matter of such material furnishings as, data of a conclusive and permanent nature, a central authority, an impersonal literature. It will be my unpleasant duty now to demonstrate that the situation is even more chaotic and hectic in the realm of the abstruse. Excuses for this state of affairs when applied to the immaterial or imponderable, naturally hold more weight than when applied to the realm of the objective, and rightly so, yet we should none the less remain cognizant of the fact when we enter the realm of the high potency, sycosis and psora discussions will remain controversial until there is developed a technique applicable to the proper investigation of this phase of medicine.
It would behoove us then to speak less glibly of the mechanisms of this or that subjective phenomena until such a time as those among us who can give adequate time and thought to the matter will have given a Solomonic survey to this field. This does not imply, however, that we should refrain from applying the doctrine of sycosis or psora. Rather, I would suggest that that be done and that the results of all such cases be reported to a central authority so that, by systematic study, a better understanding of the subject may be had. But a mere statistical study is not sufficient, and hence such reports should contain a statement of the train of thought pursued which result in the case being viewed as of a particular nature as well as the reason for the selection of one or more particular remedies and the rejection of still others.
In illustration of what I profess here I submit the case of G.W., aged five. This boy had had asthmatic attacks since the time when they were first differentiated from acute colds in his infancy, and his father has had the identical complaint all his life. The boys paternal grandmother was subject to bronchitis and had had several illnesses which were said to be pneumonia. I attended her in the last of these. The child exhibited a severe eczema of the wrists, back and cheeks, the characteristics of which were constant oozing, scratching and the formation of thick yellow crusts. Prescribing on the objective symptoms I gave Graphites with absolutely no results. Further questions elicited the fact that he slept in short naps if at all, was always picking at things such as his nose and the bed clothes, and that he would eat particles of the carpet or paper, wood, etc.
Calcarea carb. failed in its turn. Next it was found that fresh fish caused chemosis and urticaria and Dulcamara failed to do more than give him better rest and stop nocturnal enuresis which I had attributed to a redundant foreskin. The dose of Dulcamara was raised to the 200x which caused him to be extremely stuffed up but stopped the asthma for over a mouth, whereas he was accustomed to have it each night at midnight. The father would also wake up at this time and the two would sit up in bed together to get their breath. This dosage almost entirely eradicated the skin condition also, but the improvement did not last and Dulcamara in still higher potencies had no further effect.