A CRITICISM that is sometimes levelled at the postgraduate teaching of Homoeopathy in this country is to the effect that the beginner is too early confronted with high-falutin abstractions relating to the philosophy of the system. It is felt by such critics that the philosophy should be kept in the background at all events at first, and the ensure initiated into out methods by easy stages, beginning with something approaching pathological prescribing and crude dosage.
The fear is expressed that men may be frightened off Homoeopathy by the scheme of tuition at present obtaining.
This reasoning and criticism seem to us entirely ill founded. In the first place, Homoeopathy is a system entirely different in its conception and its outlook from any other system of therapeutics. It can only be appreciated and used to its fullest extent by the mind that is different.
It is on a higher plane of thought than the usual practice of daily life, and demands for its complete understanding a mind attuned to rarer thoughts-something of a visionary, perhaps; certainly one possessed of imagination more than the ordinary.
Homoeopathy has no short cuts to success. He who would do it justice and satisfy his conscience withal must be prepared for difficulties, hard work and discipline of mind and body.
The seeker after the easy path will be no credit to Homoeopathy- the man who does not see why he should spend time on the philosophy. He may not be wilfully lazy, but merely without the understanding that the more difficult way leads higher.
All great religions and systems of thought have two sides to their teaching, the exoteric, for the masses, and the esoteric or inner teaching for those only who seek it and demand it.
This inner aspect is never forced on the inquirer-indeed many of the adherents of the particular creeds do not realise that it exists. It is there, waiting for him who has reached the right stage of mental and spiritual development to feel the need of it.
Now we are not urging that the analogy of such systems with that of Homoeopathy is complete. But we may say that, though the philosophy of Hahnemann is presented in its fullness in our post- graduate course, there is not obligation on any intending homoeopath to study and develop on any intending homoeopath to study and develop it if he feels satisfied to practise without it. What we are now insisting is that the philosophy must not be omitted from our teaching, that there will always be those who are attracted to Homoeopathy by this very presentation, and that such will find a satisfaction that a more superficial study can never give.
A country that is at the present time “going all out” for the exoteric side of the teaching in Homoeopathy is the United States.
An advertisement of the New York Homoeopathic Medical College and Flower Hospital announces: “A four years course of broad comprehensive instruction in modern Homoeopathy, based on an excellent theoretical and practical groundwork in the excellent theoretical Exceptional equipment, modern laboratories and a new and completely equipped physiology and pharmacology laboratory.”.
then american conception of “modern Homoeopathy” is then based on a “groundwork in the laboratories,” including, of course, experiments on animals. This presentation of Homoeopathy may be the reason for Dr. Linn boyds ability to state in a recent article that “homoeopathy has made more scientific progress in the last six years than in the previous sixty,” but we would remark that there is a science, “falsely so-called,” and that methods such as these are not those of Hahnemann, whom after all no one since has ever succeeded in surpassing.
We feel inclined to predict that if the teaching of Homoeopathy in the United States continued on its present lines, real Homoeopathy in that country will be dead in twenty years. The body cannot live without the spirit.
In this regard it may not be without significance that in the last number (that for December, 1931) of the Journal of the American Institute of Homoeopathy, out of nine original articles, three only contain any reference to Homoeopathy, and in these three it is treated from the theoretical or historical aspect. It may be “open-minded” to allow so large a proportion of space to non-homoeopathic and even frankly allopathic contributions, but it would seem hardly fair in the circumstances to retain the name of Homoeopathy.
No, to teach the philosophy of Homoeopathy is not waste of time. The philosophy is the moving spirit, the hidden fire, which ensures the life and active growth of Hahnemanns marvellous method of healing.