THE DOWNFALL OF HOMOEOPATHY.
The downfall of homoeopathy was inherent in the time of its birth. Two general conditions of men and society were, and still are, the main causes of the marasmus which has decimated its practitioners and blighted its institutions to such a state of emaciation that millions of people are now unaware that there is such a system of medicine at all.
First, homoeopathy was born into a rapidly growing system of statism and monopoly many years before Political Economy will be generally accepted as a science that should free men of both; that should provide equality of opportunity and establish freedom and independent livelihood on a basis of normal competition; that should promote human progress instead of stultification, slavery and destruction.
To elucidate these facts a bit further, land being the only, but monopolized, source of all produce, the will to attain needs and satisfactions is subject to the terms of the monopoly; land availability comes first. This system has left hordes of the hind-most to struggle even against each other, an unnatural competition, just to survive. Land monopoly and the others which have grown up on it, together with the increasing exactions of top-heavy government, have increased the struggle to such an extent that the conduct of all people has become cramped mentally, morally, and physically by them.
The extent to which land monopoly robs the producers may be illustrated by the situation in Italy. In 1947, one percent of the great landowners appropriated forty-five per cent of the agricultural production as their share of labors production. To a greater or less degree, the same demoralizing conditions persist throughout the world. Even in ancient times, Moses warned that the penalty for land monopoly is slavery. And now we see people becoming slaves by the thousand as they surrender power to government in their blind efforts to escape the effects of private monopoly, to which, by custom, they are also blind. But governments through taxation, tariffs, and controls only relegate their producers to lower and lower depths.
History tells us how Hahnemann was persecuted by the apothecaries; so in our time the drug and chemical trust and its clerks, medical stooges and political or bureaucratic collaborators have with only feeble opposition legislated Homoeopathy almost out of existence. So how could an almost non- commercial system like homoeopathy survive the cooperation between great commercial interest and the bureaucrats who work their end of it?.
Only general understanding of the new science of political economy (it is only a little older than homoeopathy) can solve the problem of free livelihood. But it seems the world must be blasted to putrefaction before the masses of men will think and act independently, instead of being led by political sophists and monte-banks. Either more destruction must come or, miracle of miracles, a great leader must arise to whom the masses will turn to lead them out of our Egyptian politico-economic darkness.
The other main cause of the debacle of homoeopathy was that there have not been enough self-thinking minds and independent wills to fit themselves for the work. Only by the work of a large number of competent homoeopaths could the resistance of empirical medical science be dissolved away. Superficially, popular medical science seems so practical. It keeps its nose to the microscope or immersed in chemicals and advertises blatantly. But it is materialistic, myopic and philosophically lawless. It is stumped, silent and turns aside when confronted with any teleological proposition.
At the present time, it is worse a brake on mental and spiritual growth than ever before. Conversely, homoeopathy is transcendent, not only in its philosophy but in its application. Its best classification is with divination, literature, music, with the understandings that require creative processes of mind, those that require forevision, appreciation of qualities, recognition of causal connections, ability to play with the hidden forces. So this combination of politico-economic duress and inert mass mentality are the two great weights that hold Homoeopathy down. Almost all education tends toward materialistic techniques.
Nevertheless, there have been specks of clearing in the darkened sky. Lately, there have been an increasing number of criticisms of the sclerosing effects of the modern estate. Francis Neilson, probably the keenest living interpreter of public affairs, wrote in the American Journal of Economics for October, 1947, “Our movements suffer therefore, for the want of fearless men in legislatures, in the press, and in the pulpit. (He should have included the schools.) Nowhere is there to be found a voice of sufficient reason and courage to expose the real purpose of these war.
We must learn the truth, hideous as it is, of the system that made them possible. But so long as we are the victims of propaganda of one set of combatants or another, we shall never get to the bottom of the question. There is no excuse for shirking this question. Now that most people have got over the emotional strain of the conflict, they ought to be able to take hold of the problem and study it with calm determination to get the facts. There can be no peace until this is done”.
In the medical realm, or just off the edge of it, Scott Buchanan, Dean of St. Johns College, wrote a fascinating book entitled The Doctrine of Signatures. It is a searching and most wholesome criticism of modern medical mores, and incidentally a critique of modern education in general. It is a defense of theory in medicine. The author is ignorant of the marvels of applied homoeopathy but the book is written with a penetration that is inspiring; and very constructive. I wish space could permit of a resume of its animus and thesis.
Other excellent criticisms of our brain-petrifying methods have appeared. About the most nail-on-the-head statement of the stultifying effect of these conditions of modern society is that of Dr. George S. Stevenson, President of The American Psychiatric Association.
According to the Medical Times for July, 1948, he says: “Our public practices and other phases of our culture are too much guided by the capacity and requirements of the mentally deficient. The better elements of the community actually have imposed upon themselves regulations that are appropriate only to the mentally deficient. The social stage is wonderfully set for the purposes of politicians than for our worth-while citizenry”.
How then is homoeopathy to gain many recruits? We should not expect them at present. The best we can do is to hold at all costs the little privilege that remains and cooperate with others who will support it and gain what little we can. When a more free and enlightened society can rear enough independent minds and wills they will raise Homoeopathy to its rightful office of cultivating sound minds and bodies.
As to accounting or allocating these human shortcomings, we are not without a few interesting reservatories in our own camp. But that will be a captivating subject for a future writing – dont you think? It might reveal a little more about the downfall of homoeopathy.
WHAT SHALL WE TREAT, SICK INDIVIDUALS,.
BACTERIA OR VIRUSES?.
Modern medical science with its research and alleged advances in the field of medicinal therapy has increasingly stressed the necessity of curing diseases by arresting and overcoming the bacteria and viruses which presumably cause them. Assuming that many, if not most, of the diseases with which we contend in daily practice are of bacterial origin or are the result of the baneful effects of a virus, it would seem logically to follow that these causative agents ought to be combated as quickly as possible, if the sick man is to be restored to normal health before damage to him has been done.
Apparently, this concept of successful therapy is almost universally held today, not only by the dominant school, but by a very large number of Homoeopathic physicians as well. Hence we find the rapidly increasing resort to such bacterio-static therapeutic agents as penicillin, streptomycin, the sulfonamides, etc. It is true that the last named are not as extensively employed as formerly and it is also true that all these agents do at times, in susceptible patients, cause unpleasant and often serious, unlooked for side-effects.
The great research laboratories which produce and market these preparations through clever and compelling propaganda make it almost a matter of necessity for the physician to employ them and the pressure and insistence of laymen, themselves indoctrinated through widespread publicity, compel physicians to yield to their patients, even though, in some instances, such compliance is against their own better judgment. For homoeopathic physicians who feel that thereby their Hahnemannian principles must be sacrificed and have been violated the matter is a very serious one.
Homoeopathic philosophy, as expounded by Hahnemann and to which, at least supposedly, homoeopathic physicians are loyal, teaches that it is the patient who is to be treated and not the disease which has overwhelmed him. Case-taking by the homoeopath is an art and differs widely from what is known as case-taking in the orthodox school. Both schools subscribe to the necessity of establishing, so far as this is possible, a correct diagnosis and employ all known methods of arriving at this.
But the Homoeopathic therapist, having taken the case and noted the symptoms which individualize the patient, attempts to select that remedy which, in its proving, has caused symptoms similar to those of the patient before him, though not the same disease. He treats the patient as an individual, different in many respects from other patients who may, perhaps, have the same disease or in whom the same diagnosis has been made. Such individualization does not embrace the anti-bacterial agents nor the viruses which allegedly have caused the illness. Thus we have the possibilities of a serious disagreement in methods of therapeutic procedure.
As is usual in disagreements arguments can be advanced by either side which seem compelling. Yet it would appear that the homoeopathic side has the better of the argument; for this allegation can be proved, if we will observe the cases treated by both methods and compare the outcome and, more particularly, the length of the sickness and the character of the patients convalescence. To those physicians who are in a favorable position to observe, the Hahnemannian method of treatment will quickly impress itself as by far superior.
A few illustrations may be helpful in the determination of the justice of the foregoing assertion. A robust an of middle age had come to me several years ago for an annoying blepharitis which was entirely cured by Sulphur 200, one dose. he considered himself thereafter to be in better general health than before, but a few months ago, due to exposure to the elements and a neglected coryza, he complained of earache and rushed off to a specialist in the mistaken and popular belief that this was the right thing to do. The specialist in ear, nose and throat diseases, accustomed as he is to treat diseases and not accomplish all that was hoped for.
The hope, however, was fulfiled, for the pain disappeared, although rather slowly, leaving the man more or less of a physical wreck, so much as that each day he was compelled to leave his work and go home to rest; his limbs were shaky and his usual strength very much depleted. In commenting upon his condition, he said: “Well, I suppose this will take time, but these wonderful sulfra drugs do take it out of you!” To which I gracefully assented. This particular case illustrates, also, why the family doctor, eulogized in song and story, finds his sphere of activity and usefulness shrinking and why our younger physicians strive and why our younger physicians strive to become specialists as rapidly as possible. But then, we Americans are a very gullible people and rarely think for ourselves.
In contrast to the above experience is the following case: A woman, seventy-six years of age, came down with what appeared to an attack of virus influenza; the outstanding symptoms were those of Gelsemium which was given in the 200th potency at three hourly intervals. Careful physical examination showed the lungs to be clear and there was no cough. On the following day the conditions were much the same, though the patient felt somewhat better; the temperature was below 100 and the lungs were still clear. The heart action was good, also pulse.
The remedy was discontinued and sac. lac. given instead. the third morning here was a cough and some sharp pain in the lower left side of the chest; auscultation revealed crepitant rales in the lower lobes on both sides. The temperature had risen to 100.5 and the pulse was now somewhat accelerated and small. The cough was non- productive. The patient herself was dull, lethargic and she could not lie upon the left side, as this aggravated the chest pain.
The tongue was but slightly coated and there was absolutely no thirst, a symptom which had suggested the earlier selection of Gelsemium. Phosphorus 200. was now given in the time-honored half glass of water, at three hourly intervals. That night the temperature rose to 103, but by the next morning had dropped to 99.6. The crepitant rales had completely disappeared and the patient felt decidedly better. Within a week she was up and about and has been well since, in spite of living through several heatless days when, due to a severe sleet- storm, all electric and power lines had been broken by falling limbs and branches.
Had this patient been under orthodox treatment the customary, modern scientific therapy would have been resorted to and the patient would still be dragging herself about, to say the least. Homoeopathy is so far superior that comment to the contrary is stupid as well as silly.
Phosphorus, although it has the marked symptom of unquenchable thirst for cold drinks, also is a thirstless remedy, a fact which is very easily overlooked. the lethargy, though marked in Gelsemium, is found in Phosphorus also and when coupled with the symptom of indifference, the latter remedy is likely to be needed. It is these seemingly unimportant symptoms which may make the difference between success and failure in homoeopathic prescribing.
Many additional cases might be cited, but to those who understand the basic principles of homoeopathy the above experiences are sufficient. However, it may with good reason be observed that to swim against the tide of prejudice and to attempt to combat sheer ignorance, often blatant in character, is a thankless, if not a hopeless, task. Homoeopathy is a therapeutic speciality, supreme in its legitimate sphere, but, as long as orthodox medicine refuses to investigate its principles and likewise denies a place for the teaching of these principles in the curricula of medical colleges, homoeopathy will continue to remain the neglected step-child of medical science.
– RUDOLPH. F. RABE.