Your cheerful Secretary stands me right up against a tree by bouncing out such a title as this. Too well I know how unable I am to fill such a responsibility at short notice. What shall I say, talk about my own practice? Well, there has been no change in my way of practicing since a tottering but earnest beginning in 1901 or 1902, that is, when I discovered homoeopathy about fifty years ago. The only exception is what has been gained by observation and practice as with any art, minus what may have dropped out of ken on the way, for the business of homoeopathy is not merely using a stock of knowledge, it is primarily a way of doing.
Even at the beginning, I conceived it as a dynamic law with a set of principles for its application. I conceived it as the very law of compensation in the aberrations of life itself. Fifty years of practical experience has proved it. Indeed, even one successful hit should prove it. What then of a score of a hundred in a row? Its action is so positive and quick compared to mere recovery. Of course we except trauma, active or passive, more or less, although much of that is better left to medicine. Also, it is an aid to whatever should not be left to medicine only.
We have heard less these later years about homoeopathy being a “rule” instead of a law. It is comforting to know that that idea is now buried comfortably in the dust of its origin, wherever that was. Let it rest ! The whole world, or that part of it which exercises any judgment at all, should now begin to realize that such denial of the immutable, and misplaced self-will, is exactly what is the matter with it. Humanity has been chasing false rules made by its instead of discovering and using the laws of living and of individual means and rights. The prophets of old fairly screamed about this but their pleadings and warnings have been too little respected. Even some “intellectuals” of our time say law is what man makes it. They swallow their own five senses by such assertion, to say nothing of putting blinders on the higher faculties and vision.
But to return to our specific subject, if it be specific. Every homoeopath who has concentrated on his art even a few years knows that the number of patients who need material force is very, very small, provided they have had or can have efficient homoeopathic treatment. Patients who have had it over a sufficient period of time according to their native constitutions seldom develop those conditions for which it is the style to mutilate or suppress by surgery or by chemical or drug force.
In the second place, many with pathological change do better with hands off anyhow. Perhaps, in the so called Utopian future, all this sacrifice may be recognized as having been a good thing (sick, or not sick, as you please). For purely surgical technique has of course gained greatly by the collective experience. The sacrifice of the many will thus benefit those of the far away future. Personally, I prefer to work toward that far away future in a different way.
The modern medical man is blind to chronic metastasis, to what we call suppression, perhaps more so than his ancient forbears. Homoeopaths who base their practice on dynamic principles and have to undo the mistakes of common medicine realize the truth of this. I see no reason for imitating or placating facts so destructive to life or health, especially because, according to certain investigators, even institutions of medical learning have fallen into the guiding hands of the drug monopoly, and, indeed, there is almost a surgical monopoly. This is the worst of all because it protects those who are ignorant of vital dynamics and the avaricious in their ravages on trusting human beings.
I am aware that certain apparent benefits result from the use of chemotherapy. To me they seem to be of three kinds. There is the kind where sulfa et al are in their nature similar to the dynamic state of the patient. The recovery is quick and lasting. From my base of observation that kind seems to be very infrequent. Another result is where the patients vitality is strong enough to repel the disease despite the drug. The usual improvement following a naturally resolved acute disease is mistakenly credited to the drug which has been advertised so thoroughly. The recovery of this class is slow.
The third apparent good result is when the acute condition subsides into chronic disease. This is apparently the most common effect of chemotherapy. The recovery requires weeks, months or longer. But because of extensive advertising and popular flocking-like-sheep some of these actors in the play pretend to think it wonderful. But an increasing number of patients shy away from doctors until something critical occurs. So it is not so wonderful after all — except the advertising and the gullibility.
In these criticisms please note that I give due credit to the splendid life-saving sanitation, to the techniques of traumatic, obstructive and restorative surgery, etc. Not would I be so stupid as to dictate, if I could, just where to draw the line. Nevertheless, it is a fact that traditional medicine is a thousand years or more behind many other sciences and departments of knowledge. In the realm of vital dynamics it has made no progress at all during the last two thousand years. In fact in some respects it is worse, for in the two thousand years. In fact in some respects it is worse, for in the rush for advertised chemicals and sera many medicines from the vegetable kingdom which were at least temporarily helpful have gone into disuse.
We cannot buy fluid extracts any more. Will someone say just who was responsible for their disappearance and just why it happened? Maybe it was lack of demand; maybe. But to admit that is incriminating. However, the blame for these abuses and stultifications is not altogether on the medical profession. They go apace with the growth of group and government monopoly, stultifying fair competition. This creates economic glory at one extreme and dependent poverty at the other. But the decisive crisis to all this seems now not many generations off. So let us take up a more pleasant phase of our subject.
During the last two score of years or so homoeopathy has in a certain way come a long ways to the good. When I joined this Society, in 1904 I think it was, only one member was able to cope with chronic disease, improve constitutions or deal homoeopathically with severe crises. He was the only one, I believe, who was proficient in repertory work or possessed anything that could be assessed as a sufficient Homoeopathic library. There may have been one or two exceptions to this, members who did not appear at the meetings; and it will be a pleasure to be corrected on this point, if possible.
Very few knew what it was all about at all. To be sure they knew there was such a thing as Aconite and Belladonna, to be given every fifteen minutes, together or alternately, and a few other procedures of like latitude. When a homoeopathic remedy was used it was almost certain to be IX to 3X. The 12th was high and the 30th had no medicine at all. But there were a lot of combination tablets, laxatives and sedatives to be seen on the shelves. Thanks to the rudimentary sanitation of those years, there was more acute disease so that a few remedies survived the dark years of homoeopathic comprehension and eventually created an increasing demand for others.
But at that time, not only was straight prescribing and the single remedy not adhered to, such supposed lunacy was tabooed and even booed. Once, when an orthodox member reported his remarkable cures, another member jumped to his feet and shouted out, “He should be kicked out of the Society,” and the emphasis on “kicked” was terrific! Of course, you understand I have no excess of bile in reporting the incident. If there was anything but humor in the tale it would not be worth mentioning.
Soon after I joined, another who understood homoeopathy came into the Society, then a third who had pierced the fog. There was one very active member of the leadership type who had three stock questions which he always asked when a high potency hit was mentioned. They were: 1) “Was there any medicine in the prescription?” 2) “How do you know it was the medicine that cured,” and 3) “Would not the patient have recovered without any medicine?” But the lady member was Scotch and she had a keen and lively sense of humor and appreciation of human nature.
She metaphorically picked up his honor and sat him down plumb in a back seat. This act was repeated three times or so until it finally died a natural death. I am sorry that I cannot recall just what her answers were. But never was there in ladys eye a merrier, keener twinkle than whenever this particular gentleman would appear on the scene.
There was a maxim current in those days that there was no matter in potencies above the 12th, the inference being, of course, that the attempt to use anything higher was fanatical. Some writers did recommend the 12th in certain cases, but apparently it was a demonstration of courage such as balancing oneself on the edge of precipice. After awhile, some genius had demonstrated a state of matter in the 30th. This was supposed to be proof that after all there was something in homoeopathy. So, as the years rolled by, the more daring were coaxed into using the 200th and today even mention of the CM brings forth no audible snorts.
While this was going on, perhaps to the lasting benefit of our art, our institutions were gradually “fading away.” I mean really fading away. As you know, the external cause of this was pharmacal and medical monopoly in collision with bureaucratic prerogatives. But ten times more ominous were the internal causes, that is, lack of understanding, fear of disapprobation, appeasement on the part of some, and the serenity and content of the purists.
It was almost fatal. Many went over to the conventional caste and the ones tied to hospitals, asylums, clinics and colleges were too few to cope with the external pressure and infiltration. But the loss shocked the remnant into renewed efforts to improve their own therapy and homoeopathic standing, so that now we have proportionately more real homoeopathic practice with a minimal contingent than we had fifty years ago with a large one.
Of the residue of our teaching institutions, the smallest is the best yet, viz., the Post Graduate School of the American Foundation for Homoeopathy. This school teaches the principles of philosophy, materia medica and uses of the repertories. It is now sponsored by the American Institute of Homoeopathy. It is to be hoped that there may be some means to lessen the economic and professional burden on its teachers and students. Their sacrifices deserve earnest consideration.
The use of homoeopathy so as to care efficiently for chronic conditions, severe crises and desperate conditions requires no great store of knowledge, as I have said in other words. But it does require understanding. That is the first and most essential requirement. No amount of detailed knowledge of materia medica and hardly be a substitute for it.
Also, it requires a certain amount of foresight and consistency that gives one fortitude to gamble for the long pull instead of playing the game of apparent expediency. For instance, one may excise a fibroid or destroy a pair of tonsils and get a fee that looks alright on the surface. But one will gain as much and more by clearing them medicinally, although more time will be spent at it. Not only that, the first is a passing affair but the second blinds patients to the practice. Extirpation is the common thing, anyone may do it; but curing with medicines spread the reputation far, if not wide. There are other advantages.
Other things beings equal, the medicinal method builds a young practice e faster and keeps it active longer if one wants to work. The reputation of curing is something no one else can destroy and competition of curing is something no one else can destroy and competition is practically nil; an active demand is kept up. Moreover, independence is worth something. One is not subjected to unfair strictures of the hospital nor obliged to be under the scrutiny of a “chief”– conditions which are certain to grow worse instead of better.
The future of homoeopathy, if it can survive the threat of government monopoly, will be much more favorable than it has ever been. People are abandoning old time modern medicine as never before, more in other regions than here in the East, apparently. An acquaintance of mine questions this, however. He thinks that what seems expansion is a few writers making a lot of noise.
But we notice that old time medicine seems forced to adopt more and more methods from the cults, of course without credit as to the sources. Nevertheless, this is all to the good. It will lessen prejudice against sugar pills and make conditions easier to adopt them. Also, it tends toward the appreciation of the patterns and modes of individual life; which is an incentive to fit remedies to them. Medicine as a curative art will never die entirely.
In 1936 I read by request an article before this Society on “How Shall We Renew Interest in Homoeopathy.” We had a pretty fair attendance and some guest contributions to the program took considerable time to entertain us with a lot of material which a homoeopathic specialist could hardly use. Your present speaker came on the program when coats and hats were walking out so that he had the splendid attendance of four members as a sounding board for his subject. I have made this paper purposely long this time, in revenge.
In fact, I threatened to myself to read the other paper at this session. Anyhow, Dr. Roberts commented by saying, “Boy, you said it !” It was one of the rare times that I ever heard him use an exclamation point. But I will spare you and read only two or three synthesized excerpts. They deal with the economic aspects, not politics, as you will perceive if you listen closely. Politics in our economy is only interference with our livelihood, with production and exchange, both individual, domestic and global:.
What then of medicine and the opportunity to spread knowledge of homoeopathy? I see no opportunity to make any more impression on conventional medicine than we are making now. But there may be opportunity in the future, as I shall try to show.
Further economic distortion will come and grave changes arise in the relations of physicians to each other, to the government and to the public. With future depressions medical institutions, as organized, must break. The profession is in for a drastic moral and economic deflation. Whether future forms of government be fascist, socialistic, communistic or be that mongrel we have now does not alter this necessity, for the cause is more fundamental than politics alone.
It is economic forces that shapes policies and governments as well as general living. The primal urge behind mans activities is economic. The way in which society permits the holding of land, source of everything we have, determines the esprit and forms of institutions.
Homoeopathy cannot spread again very much except in a free economy, that is, in true democracy. And we shall never attain that until government impositions on labor and produce are abolished, so that labor can retain all of its earnings; and the impost put on land values instead, so as to provide revenue for public purposes and access to unused resources besides.
If we do not come to this, our sad prophecy of some years ago will come to pass. As economic and government pressure increases, the bait or backing in its several forms will be taken by more and more doctors. Certification, regimentation and control will march over private rights. There will be ruthless restriction of individual activities as such.
But there is a gleam of hope for the ones who do not capitulate. The prestige of the more informal doctor will increase relatively among the people. For the official doctor is neither trusted nor valued like the one sought by the patient. Confidence by way of results and mutual interest is the keynote of individual success in the face of official medicine, if we are allowed to preserve these privileges.
Despite their frothy strictures as to other therapy, homoeopaths have always been the most fraternal group in the profession. Enthusiasm for an ideal makes him sincere in the desire to give of what he knows is a priceless treasure. This may count in the emergency. What he is willing to give will more likely be received.