TO DARE-OR TO PUSSYFOOT?.
Let us replace sentimentalism by realism, and dare to uncover those simple and terrible laws which, be they seen or unseen, pervade and govern. EMERSON.
The present status of homoeopathy as a school of medicine bids us stop and look backward, as well as forward. Let us acknowledge once again that homoeopathy is founded upon laws; many of these laws we have observed and recorded, and many we recognize to be active although not fully understood, but we see their results as long as we progress in an orderly manner. In other words, we recognize a pattern in disease and its cure which is fundamental.
It has been pointed out that homoeopathy and dominant medicine are drawing closer together. Superficially this may seem to be true, but actually and in their very concept they are as far apart as ever. It is true that the dominant school is accepting the fact that minimum doses are often more effective; its true that the dominant school accept the difference between primary and secondary effects of drugs. There are other occasional discoveries made within the past few years by the dominant school of medicine that have been known to homoeopathy since Hahnemanns time; but this does not mean that the schools are drawing closer together because there is not greater sympathy in basic principles.
It means, rather, that the dominant school has discovered a few random facts, many of them long accepted by homoeopathic leaders, and long effective in application as part of the orderly pattern which we have accepted. It does not mean that the fundamental lawfulness had been accepted by general medicine.
In fact, the mere statement by professed homoeopaths that there is increasing similarity in therapeutics of the two schools demonstrates clearly (except in special cases where such a statement is modified by definite limitations) that they themselves do not recognize, after all these years, just what homoeopathy stands for.
There is such a thing as being alive to the possibilities and implications of new discoveries in various branches of research, and they may be accepted in so far as they can be fitted coherently into the logical pattern of healing. If we cannot grow in knowledge and ability we, as homoeopaths, have not seen the possibilities of our heritage; but let us not confuse the issues. Let us not be so eager to be “modern and scientific” that we cast out the old, tried principles (some of which are just now being “discovered” by modern science). And may we be forgiven our presumption if we, in our desire to be up-to-date, fail to teach our followers the underlying principles without which our tenets would have no basis. It is more than our own work that is in the balance; it is our heritage, to which we can add or which we can despoil and cast away.
The world is production-mad. Growth and development are judged in terms of exhibition. Statistics and financial figures warp our judgment. Science in its spectacular aspects has become a popular fetish. It becomes increasingly difficult for those not grounded on principles to stand against the flood-tide of these influences.
Each must make his own decisions according to his best judgment, but if he be not strong to withstand the desire for worldly recognition, to be on the winning side, he will soon find himself in a position of “pussyfooting” to reassure his sterner colleagues and his own conscience, while by peaceful absorption he will pass rather ingloriously into that oblivion conjured up by the very massiveness of that which he so eagerly invoked.
After all, the great test of the worth of homoeopathy lies in the results of its application to the sick. There is often nothing spectacular about these results, judged by modern exhibitionism, for they come in quite homes, comparatively few ever reaching hospitals. How many cases has the average Hahnemannian, be he ever so busy, that require months if hospitalization? And how many death certificates is he called upon to sign each year? If he has followed the sound principles which our school advocates, even allowing for a percentage of patients to leave him for more spectacular methods, his results are far superior to those wholly “modern and scientific”.
It takes a certain amount of courage to face the facts squarely, but we must recognize that many of our so-called homoeopathic confreres do not recognize the difference between general medicine and homoeopathic medicine. If the homoeopathic school gives up the pattern of coherence for the unassembled and unassimilated units of experimental results we shall have given up our heritage for a mess of pottage. Homoeopathy is governed by “those simple and terrible laws which pervade and govern”. It is truly one manifestation of Science. Guye says: “It is not useless to recall this truth, though it is so commonplace: it is because we do not possess “Science” that we have “sciences.” The basic principles of homoeopathic can be demonstrated to be a logical part of Science.
all evolutionary processes are slow, so let us be willing to progress slowly if we must, albeit surely, rather than to rush frantically, aimlessly, from one series of “wonderful discoveries” to another, only to shamefacedly return years hence to some long-forgotten discovery of history.
Let us paraphrase Emerson by saying:.
LET US REPLACE EMOTIONALISM BY LOGIC, AND DARE TO UNCOVER THOSE SIMPLE AND TERRIBLE LAWS WHICH, BE THEY SEEN OR UNSEEN, PERVADE AND GOVERN.