Because many homoeopathic physicians have started that the study of homoeopathic philosophy is not of sufficient value to justify the labor and effort involved in such study is the reason for the title of this paper and the companion paper of Dr. E. Garcia- Trevino.
It might be well to have some standard definition of philosophy in order to clarify the work we wish to present.
Webster defines philosophy: I. the love of wisdom; 2. the knowledge of phenomena as explained by, and resolved into, causes and reasons, powers and laws; 3. a systematic body of general conceptions and principles, ordinarily with implication of their practical application as a practical philosophy of life; 4. practical wisdom, calmness of temper and judgment; equanimity.
Will Durant in his book entitled, The Story of Philosophy, clearly and charmingly shows how the status and progress of individuals, states, races, and eras have corresponded to the type of philosophic concepts they imbibed. Furthermore he reveals that only with the aid and light conduct and accomplishments of the race. To quote a brief excerpt from the introduction to his book:.
Every science begins as philosophy and ends as art; it arises in hypothesis and flows into achievements.
Philosophy is a hypothetical interpretation of the unknown, as in metaphysics; or of the inexactly known, as in ethics of political philosophy; it is the front trench in the siege of truth. Science is the captured territory; and behind it are those secure regions in which knowledge and art build out imperfect and marvelous world.
Philosophy seems to stand still, perplexed; but because she leaves the fruits of victory to her daughters, the sciences and herself on divinely discontent, to the uncertain and unexplained.
As the speculative side of this subject is assigned to Dr., Trevino, I will present a few of its practical and commonplace phases for your consideration.
First and paramount above all other reasons for the existence and use of homoeopathic philosophy is the distinctive concept it holds of the nature or health and disease. This concept is as essential in homoeopathic practice as is the Law of Similars, in fact, it is indispensable for the successful application of the law, involving in its scope the evolution and prognosis in all sick states before, during, and after the administration of the similar remedy. Without the Hahnemannian perception of the vital force and its relation to health and sickness the application and use of the law is restricted and confined to very narrow limitations.
To know that health is harmony in the play of vital processes, and disease has its beginnings in the disturbance of this harmony, is the fundamental tenet of our philosophy. In more modern terms, ill health begins in some unbalance of the electro- magnetic processes which precipitates a changed body chemistry; this change, if not soon reversed, results in tissue changes, morbid anatomy or pathology-the end results of disease. Traditional medicine regards pathology as the disease itself and seeks to extirpate it, thinking thereby to cure the patient.
Here we see the opposing philosophies of the two schools of medical thought. One, the homoeopathic, recognizing and operating on the functional or causative plane of life; the other school, the mechanical, operative on the material plane, which corresponds to the effects of disease only. The homoeopathic concept of life processes alone can explain the reason for the similar remedy in the minimum dose, and the phenomena of health and sickness in all of its ramifications.
The observations of many able prescribers, over a long period, have given us a number of aphorisms that are invaluable to the homoeopathist in the successful application of the true art of healing.
Hahnemanns observation that symptoms get well in the inverse order of their coming, under the action of the similimum, has been confirmed by thousands of prescribers. Herings observation of symptoms departing from above downward, from within outward, from center to circumference, is another often confirmed observation.
Kent made a number of accurate observations following the administration of the homoeopathic remedy which were confirmed by many before and since his time. The sharp aggravation followed by a long period of relief of the symptoms with a general improvement in the state of the patients health is probably the most frequent noted and is a sure indication of the selection of the best remedy. A prolonged aggravation followed by no improvement is a strong indication of incurable disease, or that tissue changes in vital organs have progressed too far to be arrested or restored.
A prolonged amelioration with no aggravation, indicates the correct remedy given in the perfectly attuned potency. A short-lasting amelioration indicates either an incurable disease or a remedy only superficial in action to the case; such remedies frequently repeated may easily act as suppressants, producing irreparable harm to the patient.
A case where the symptoms of every remedy given appear without benefit to the patients symptoms or general health denotes one of great susceptibility to all miasmatic or morbid influences and will prove a very difficult one to cure of his chronic states. Such cases are natural proves and the remedies should not be given above the 30th potency or below the 6th.
From all this we see another use, and perhaps the greatest one, for the existence of our philosophy.
It teaches us to observe facts and their sequence and to reason constructively and logically, thereby perfecting our science and growing in wisdom. Homoeopathic philosophy teaches us to take the case accurately and scientifically, so that every symptom obtained becomes a solid fact and the totality of these facts presents an image of the materia medica and used for the work of cure.
When When one is guided by these philosophic axioms, he grows in medical wisdom and can accomplish so much better work in the realm of healing.
There was a time not so long ago, when many of these observed facts had to be accepted on the basis of the observed phenomena without an adequate explanation of the whys and wherefores involved; but the march of science has nearly caught up with the advance that Hahnemann, with his master mind, was able to perceive and give to a needy world. The latest achievements of the physicists, with their delicately developed instruments of precision, explains the increased power released by transmuting material into energy. The work of Crile and others have sensed and are revealing the more subtle and imponderable elements of life which operate to build the body organism and maintain it in all its manifold and complex affairs of existence.
In truth there is real likelihood that homoeopathy will be the philosophers stone of medicine, rediscovered by old school scientists and given to the world under a new name. But the philosophy of homoeopathy, build up by so many faithful and accurate observers during one hundred and fifty years of applied law, must stand as our heritage; and it remains our privilege to carry it on and transmit it to our children and the future fraught with beneficial power for the healing of the nations in Gods kingdom, for they are indeed Gods children who have the good fortune to be served by CHICAGO, ILL.