ANOTHER SIGN OF THE TIMES.
Harry Beckman, M.D., Professor of Pharmacology at Marquette University, was invited, a short time ago, as guest speaker to San Francisco. He is the author of a book just off the press, Pharmacology in Clinical Practice, published by W.B. Saunders Company and this is the quotation that he puts on the flyleaf: “The true physicians is one who cures; observation which does not teach how to cure is not observation by a physician but rather by a naturalist.” F.J. Broussais (1772-1838). This tells more of the psychology and purpose of the author than a volume of analysis and in this, already, he is unknown to himself, a disciple of Samuel Hahnemann.
The topic of his lecture was The Evolution of a Concept of Cancer. Dr. Beckman is not only a pharmacologist, he is a research man and, what is rarer, he is a thinker. Cancer has been a question that has haunted him-as it has many of us-so he started to investigate, first trying to find a satisfactory definition of cancer, but in vain. One is amazed by the enormous amount of work done all over the world on cancer for the last fifteen years, and yet, when you squeeze it all and try to synthesize a conception of it that would lead to a successful cure, there is an appalling lack of results.
The surgeon, the internist, the pathologist, the biochemist-all have concentrated their attention on the tumor itself, the end products, the ultimates, bringing to light a maze of futile and sterile facts. So Dr. Beckman looked at some of the deep thinkers of the past and discovered this gem in Novum Organum (1620) by Francis Bacon: “NO MAN CAN RIGHTLY AND SUCCESSFULLY INVESTIGATE THE NATURE OF ANYTHING IN THE THING ITSELF.” Bacons contribution to philosophy was his formulation and introduction of the inductive method of modern science and non-Aristotelian semantics-as opposed to the a priori method of scholasticism.
If one observes the behavior of the body reactions to the usual type of bacterial disease, it becomes evident that considerable efforts, based on delicate physiopathological mechanisms, are exerted by the economy to fight, localize, wall off or annihilate the threatening agent. But in cancer there are no such reactions; in fact, it is the opposite that occurs. The neoformation or lesion is not repugnant to the body, there is none of the white cell infiltration that is characteristic of inflammation, no evidence of general mobilization against the deadly foe as in fever and other process.
On the contrary, the nature of cancer is such that it seems to take a priority on foods necessary to its growth. While the patient is starving and in progressing cachexia, the cancer grows and develops. Experiments have shown, for example, that starved rats with the specific features of malnutrition recover quickly when fed with neoplastic or malignant tissue, but do not respond when fed with the liver of the patient who died from that malignancy. The body seems to behave towards cancer as if it was really a part of itself.
These and other considerations have led Dr. Beckman to the following starting definition: “CANCER IS A NORMAL RESPONSE TO AN ALTERED ENVIRONMENT-NOTHING ELSE.” He is going to devote his time to back up his definition and he has the congratulations and best wishes of all concerned with the welfare of humanity. This new concept is another step in the right direction, emphasized 150 years ago by Samuel Hahnemann who insisted that the physician should forget the name of the disease and treat the patient. -R.A.S.
A NEW TRANSLATION OF THE SIXTH EDITION OF THE ORGANON.
How many of the homoeopaths of today ever read the Organon from cover to cover? I would like to meet the one who even took the time and effort to peruse and study the sixth edition.
Hahnemann was eighty-six years old when he prepared his last edition from the fifth, working eighteen months on it. He died at eighty-eight, before its publication. The original was written with the painstaking “grundlichkeit” (thoroughness) of the author, in the classical and ponderous old German language, typical of that time, with interminable, often abstruse phrases, arduous to understand and saturated with notes and parenthesis. No wonder only very few ventured in such an undertaking and the majority were satisfied to read their homoeopathic philosophy from more palatable and modern writers. And yet the Organon is the fundamental, and-for the expert-the unquestioned authority on everything homoeopathic.
The sixth edition was published in German in 1921, acquired by the Americans and well translated in 1921 by Dr.William Boericke and published by Boericke and Tafel in 1921 by Dr.William Boericke and published by Boericke and Tafel in 1922. In 1941. Riccamboni published it in Italian. In all the Organon has been published in sixty editions and translated in twelve languages-an exceptional record.
It is none the less an amazing fact that nobody for the last hundred years took any notice of the revolutionary changes advocated by Hahnemann in this last edition. The modifications of the former original teachings include: A new expose of the concept of the vital force, new ideas on the etiology of diseases, new methods for the selection of the remedy (Pharmacolexy), for the preparation of drugs (Pharmacopraxy), for prescribing the remedy to the patient (Pharmaconomy).
In the later years of his practice, Hahnemann discovered and experimented, with unparalleled success, with the famous fifty thousandth potencies. To my knowledge, Dr. A. Voegeli of Lausanne (Switzerland) is the first one to duplicate these experiments and to publish the spectacular result of a series of one thousand consecutive cases so treated in the journal L Homoeopathie Francaise, No. 4 & 5, April and May, 1951, under the title: “The Dosage in Homoeopathy and the Influence of the Dosologic Experience on the Knowledge of the Disease Phenomenon”.
The British homoeopaths have experimented and written about their so-called “Plus Method” which, however, is something different.
Just as we needed a Newton to open the field of modern physics by interpreting the fall of an apple, a common fact nobody paid any attention to, so we needed a Kent to develop, exploit and disseminate the concept of dynamization and its practical application to the treatment of the sick. Too often a valuable discovery in some field remains buried and lifeless for the lack of a promoter. With the incredible development of technology, we are nowadays more spoiled than ever before, and, in order to put over anything in any field, an elaborate propaganda campaign and a laborious and costly presentation are required. Dr. Pierre Schmidt of Geneva, Switzerland, met the challenge of modern high standards as far as the translation in French of the sixth edition of the Organon is concerned.
His long experience of pure homoeopathic practice, his well-known proficiency in teaching Homoeopathy qualified him particularly for this work. It took him five years of hard labor to present this sixth edition in modern scientific language, easily readable and understandable, edited, printed and phrased in an appealing, didactic and most of all-practical way, indexed and cross-indexed for immediate reference on any subject, and with his own pertinent remarks and annotations. He brings to the profession the means by which Homoeopathy can be understood, studied and practiced with the best chances of success; a book that will promote the renaissance of Homoeopathy in French speaking countries.
Dr. Wilbur K. Bond of Greensfork. Indiana has announced the name of those who, as Chairmen of Bureaus, are charged with the responsibility of preparing the scientific program for the 72nd Annual Convention of the International Hahnemannian Association which will be held at the New Ocean House, Swampscott, Massachusetts, during the last week in June, 1953. Their names are given herewith:
Bureau of Homoeopathic Philosophy-
Chairman: Marion Belle Rood, M.D., Lapeer, Mich.
Bureau of Materia Medica-
Chairman: Lucy Swanton Clark, M.D., East Cleveland 12, Ohio.
Bureau of Clinical Medicine-
Chairman: Arthur Records, M.D., Franklin, Indiana
Bureau of Pediatrics-
Chairman: Donald Gladish, M.D., Glenview, III.
Bureau of Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics-
Chairman: Dayton T. Pulford, M.D., Toledo, Ohio.
These names have been selected by Dr. Bond after careful consideration of their qualification and we feel assured that we can anticipate an interesting and worth while program. All members of the I.H.A. are urged to co-operate to the fullest extent with the Bureau Chairmen when asked to prepare papers for presentation in June. To promise an essay is not enough; it must be written, presented in person, if possible, but at least forwarded to the Bureau Chairman for use at the convention.
It would make our editorial task easier if essays were type written, double spaced and on one side of the paper only. An article in long hand is often almost illegible-traditionally physicians are noted for poor handwriting-and requires typing by the editorial staff which is an additional expense of publication. We feel that the expense of typing papers, if any, should be borne by the author and not by the Recorder. Cooperation in this matter will be greatly appreciated by the editor.