Suppose we have selected our remedy, that it has been administered in a seemingly suitable potency, and we have recorded definite results from it. After a time the condition returns in part. What shall be our next step? Here too we must consider the sound basis for procedure along the lines laid down by the master-thinkers and early homoeopathic scientists.

A very common mental attitude among physicians, even of the homoeopathic school, questions the value of homoeopathic philosophy and puts the whole emphasis of homoeopathic practice upon knowledge of the materia medica.

It is quite true that without a thorough knowledge of our materia medica and its homoeopathicity in individualized disease syndromes there would be no homoeopathic school, but it must be remembered that Hahnemann, in his development of the materia medica, used this knowledge of the characteristic symptomatology of individual drugs to discover certain fundamental principles — principles that explained the reasons for drug action, not only in certain disease symptoms but reasons for their effectiveness in various preparations or potencies; and further, that these principles, being sound and capable of extension on the same basis of experimentation and clinical use, might be carried into other fields just as successfully as in the field of medicine.

In fact, it is just this possibility of demonstrating the homoeopathic principles in the fundamental sciences that convinces us today of the soundness of these principles and that Hahnemann uncover basic laws through his medical research.

On the other hand, our practical field for applying these principles is somewhat limited if we attempt to restrict ourselves to progress in our chosen humanitarian work. Therefore we may ask ourselves of what value homoeopathic philosophy is in the work of the average homoeopathic physician. Every physician who attempts to practice homoeopathy knows there are certain fundamental tenets that he must accept, superficially at least, since they are implied by his calling himself a homoeopathic physician.

It might seem that each physician in the homoeopathic group could be classified under one of these four headings:.

He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool– SHUN HIM.

He who knowns not and knows that he knows not is a scholar — WATCH HIM.

He who knows and knows not that he knows is asleep — WAKE HIM.

He who knows and knows that he knows is a wise man — FOLLOW HIM.

There are always those who do not recognize their own limitations of knowledge, believing themselves to know. There are always some who recognize the depth of their own ignorance, and would lift themselves above this level of their own insufficiency; these men must continually study to perfect themselves more in their work that they may do more and better work and help their patients further toward cure than ever before. It is this class who comprise the best to be found among the great majority of physicians, and it is in this class that our greatest hope must lie for future sound development.

There are those who know, to some degree, but who use their knowledge unconsciously and imperfectly because they do not realize they are using fundamental principles; they have never been awakened to the true import of these principles and their adaptability in everyday work.

This class comprises far too many of our homoeopathic prescribers; men who use these principles sleepily, as it were, and therefore not effectively for their own increase of knowledge nor for the best continued good of their patients.

Those who know, and know that they know, are all too few in any calling; we can only follow where they lead, and their leading must be based only on sound fundamental principles to maintain their high standards.

That we may be wakened from our sleep, let us consider where we must first apply principles in our daily work.

Every physician, of whatever school, daily meets syndromes of varying degrees of interest and intensity. There fore the first consideration of our practical application of homoeopathic principles must begin with our approach to each individual case. hoe do we differ in our approach from the attitude of the physician of the dominant school? The dominant school demands, first, the diagnosis of the disease. In gathering the data for his diagnosis he welcomes all laboratory aids in recording abnormal conditions.

H.A. Roberts
Dr. H.A.Roberts (1868-1950) attended New York Homoeopathic Medical College and set up practrice in Brattleboro of Vermont (U.S.). He eventually moved to Connecticut where he practiced almost 50 years. Elected president of the Connecticut Homoeopathic Medical Society and subsequently President of The International Hahnemannian Association. His writings include Sensation As If and The Principles and Art of Cure by Homoeopathy.