In conclusion I must make mention of the controversy between philosophers in reference to analogy and deductions by analogy. Reasoning by analogy I have always claimed to be the only correct method. It is the golden theory of Pythagoras, by which heaven and earth are unlocked. Nevertheless, like the law of quadrature of triangles, it has been dubbed Pons asinorum by dunces.

One might think Hahnemann must have been inspired when one reflects and considers the many details upon which he built his new doctrine; the particulars being as astounding as the whole.

Take the word homoionpath, from the Greek, familiar as it has become through long usage, is yet so happy a choice, so strikingly to the point, that the more we think about it the more we marvel at its aptitude and feel gratified.

One need but hark back to the time when the word was not yet chosen and Hahnemann himself not yet able to see clearly. He did not say harmonious, agreeing, corresponding, adequate, analogous or identical; not congruous, nor covering, although he did make use of “cover” (decken) in other places; he purposely did not use the word like or ison, although he insisted upon the greatest possible likeness of symptoms, and surely never discarded a remedy by reason of its too great similarity or complete likeness.

But he said homoios and translated it by similar before he could know that the word, in later scientific development, would come to stand as the one correct and approved term. Pathy, and the word allos or alloios, besides enantion (enantiopathy) were chosen later to favor homoion. The word homoion, the more we examine it, expresses the fundamental idea of the new doctrine better and more clearly than any that could have been chosen. It is the one true and right word, which has served, and will continue to serve through all time.

Our short history has already furnished several examples of the enemys attempts to substitute another name and hoist another flag, but our banner still proudly streams and is mightiest. Short as is our history, that of the other side is still more brief. All oppositions trying to hook on, were, if not exactly stillborn, yet so weazen as soon to fade, or at most to hover about like spectres in dark corners. We are still alive. So it was and ever will be; for it is not the word but the spirit that abides in the word, the spirit of truth which keeps us alive. It is in the nature of the truth to endure forever. All other power is scattered by it like dust.

The Greeks made a distinction between ison and homoion, but none between homon and homoion. I am not speaking of grammarians, but of Greeks. They use the word ison where things equal, totally alike, are compounded; equal measure, angles or leg of an angle, sides, equal values, weight, equal parts, import, also equality of birth, standing, rank. On the other hand homoion is employed for equality of character, manner of living, feeling, opinion and disposition; the same with color, form and tone; in short, where we use the word similar. In this difference of usage we recognize a vital difference.

In the New Testament ison is only used in a sense of perfect likeness, for example, “he deemed himself like unto God”, etc. Not homos. On the other hand homoion is used in the parables; for instance “the kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed”; and again, “like a merchant”, etc.; also in Revelations where corresponding imagery is concerned. Also in the parallel passage in Matthew 22, 39, “and the second is like unto it”, which Luther quite correctly translated by like.

Later I will again refer to these passages by which my remaining doubts of the true meaning of similar were dispelled. Homoios in all of these means likeness in difference of kind, in different domains, always in cases where together with likeness there must be the thought of a difference.

We surely know that Hahnemann did not borrow the word from the New Testament. Not even should he have read the passage in Acts 14, 15, where Paul rends his garments and cried out, “We are homoeopaths, (sufferers alike) and will not sacrifice oxen.” Nor would this have deterred him from adopting the name. It was not Hahnemanns way to long hesitate over a choice of words.

In choosing the remedy for a particular case he took all the more time because it was his aim and purpose to cure. Moreover there was no authority to influence him in the least in his dietetics; yet when he had gradually perfected this he had come up with Moses without suspecting it. He had the desire to heal, for which reason Nature revealed herself to him and through him to us. In this sense we may say he was inspired.

I make particular mention of this because I was always puzzled to understand the reasons which guided Hahnemann in making choice of drugs for his provings. Certain it is used that he always took the biggest catch away from the rest of us when it came to fishing for important drugs to prove. This, to say the least, is remarkable. He never appeared willing to talk about, or make answer to this; and I know that what is being written in the present would not have induced him to give reasons for making his selections, thereby giving us guidance in our work for the future. Reflect upon the large domain of the vegetable kingdom alone and make a survey of the materia medica of his time and observe how, in making his selections, he was always sure to light upon the best.

If, with Belladonna and Nux vomica, his choice was influenced by the poisoning cases, there were hundreds of other drugs equally poisonous. If he chose Chamomilla on account of its general use in the home, there were innumerable other home remedies he might have chosen; and later very little of importance came from this source.

Hahnemann lost no time in selecting the obsolete Aconite, the Pulsatilla which had been overlooked, and the forgotten Arnica. I am putting the question to everyone: What would Hahnemann and young homoeopathy have done without these remedies?.

The provings of Ignatia and Angustura, with a few others, were undertaken casually; the choice of Oleander was a mere fancy. He made several almost purposeless provings with Leontodon, Cyclamen, Verbascum, Chelidonium and some others. At least none of these, so far, (1845) has found its way into daily practice. In spite of all he found the more important remedies and gave them prominence. Later provings, made by other physicians, were still left far behind.

Gross, with Platina, surpassed Aurum; Helbig gave us Nux moschata, which, if not more important, takes equal rank with Nux vomica. Stapf, by placing Tartar emetic in our hands, gave us a remedy of like applicability with Aconite and Bryonia, put Coffea on a par with Opium, surpassed Thuja with Sabina, and Crocus with Drosera, etc.; Seidel went beyond Ledum with his Rhododendron, beyond Capsicum with Senega, and G.F. Muller opened up a remedy in Hypericum of equal importance to Arnica. While skipping many other valuable contributions to materia medica, mention might be made of Lachesis which though not exactly on a level with those mentioned, still outstripped Moschus in symptomatology and its frequent use in practice. But what does it amount to compared to the masterly work of Hahnemann? As surely as Lachesis far surpasses all other animal medicines, how poor and incomplete it stands beside the Sepia of Hahnemann!.

Strangest of all is how Hahnemann, with his antipsoric theory, and after his discovery of potentization found also the more important antipsoric remedies. They seemed to fairly snow in upon him. Not the ones he took up later and classed with the antipsorics but the ones with which he began.

Who, at the time, would have placed the least confidence in the action of any of these drugs, several of which have since become our most important remedies? Many will remember the time when charcoal was jeered at as being thoroughly inert, and we were told to select poisons only, and powerful ones at that.

It was evident that Sulphur and Phosphorus would prove important medicines, but who was not surprised to find in Silicea, Lycopodium, and Sepia, and then in Natrum muriaticum, remedies of such enormous value? Was this chance? Then why was the lucky hit so often repeated? Proof by the mathematical law of probabilities fortunately is at hand, as was the case with the Pleiades and the old English astronomer. Repetition eliminates chance. Was there a scientific reason? Which? If we but knew, so that we could follow in the same course, the way by which Hahnemann won the heights through all three natural kingdoms the world over! He concealed nothing, yet nowhere mentions reasons for his choice. What then remains but inspiration?.

It is not our purpose to add to or to subtract from Hahnemann. His greatness is sufficiently attested by the quality of his researches. His purpose was to heal, and to give freely to all of what seemed to him of greatest importance. For this reason he put out all of his remedies in the form of monographs. It did not seem to trouble him whence the remedies came; he simply alluded to their origin that others might know from what source they were obtainable. Possibly he did not give it a thought that Pulsatilla and Aconite were both Ranunculaceae, or that Staphisagria and Hellebore belong to the same family. And what good would it have been to him? What good to his patients?.

Constantine Hering