History of Homoeopathy

History of Homoeopathy. Worthy of note is furthermore his great diligence land his gigantic working power which permitted him to remain at his writing desk the greatest part of the night, or by the side of a retort. Only in such a manner can the number of books and his studies be understood, besides his later ever-growing practice with its great exchange of correspondence.

The Man: As we have concerned ourselves in this book according to the aim of the complete work principally with Hahnemanns scientific performance, the creation of homoeopathy, so we cannot here be concerned with a description and a dissection of the whole of his personality. There shall be mentioned here only in a summary manner that part of his nature which in some way has expressed itself in his works.

Hahnemann, arising from small circumstances, already in his youth felt his forces stirring and saw himself recognized as a talented boy already in school and treated correspondingly. As he then left the narrow confinement of his home and the wind of a free life whistled about his ears, he will certainly have suffered from the limitations and privations which poverty brought with it. It must have been particularly painful to him that he was compelled to earn his bread by translations and teaching in place of beating a direct path of science. Many slightings will have painfully touched the self-consciousness of the endowed but poor student.

Thus in him an originally marked self-consciousness will have paired itself with sensitivity so that he responded to all attacks made against his doctrine with great sharpness. With this was combined desire to acknowledgment and ambition of which one usually tends to speak only if they have been restrained by repressions, while in those who son obtain a place corresponding to their capacities by progressing on a smooth path these characteristics appear less markedly and consequently one speaks less of them although in themselves they may be stronger than in the other.

Soon also appeared in Hahnemann the tendency to overstress an opinion right in itself and to perceive it as alone valid, as can be observed already before the presentation of his new doctrine, for example in his fight against coffee.

Regard for rank probably at that time played a much lesser Role on the whole than later; but it seems as though Hahnemann always considered it particularly little. Already in his first writings there is to be found very depreciating opinion of his “medical fellows.” But one may also perceive therein perhaps as in his conditional recognition of the accomplishments of shepherds, executioners, etc., more the lack of prejudice of a superior mind.

Worthy of note is furthermore his great diligence land his gigantic working power which permitted him to remain at his writing desk the greatest part of the night, or by the side of a retort. Only in such a manner can the number of books and his studies be understood, besides his later ever-growing practice with its great exchange of correspondence.

With this disposition it could not fail to occur that after the representation of his new doctrine his already slight feeling of communion lessened still more and in combination with other qualities as self- consciousness and sensitivity, led to a special attitude towards his colleagues which was devoid of all regard. Through the lack of recognition of his doctrine and the unfriendly echo which came to him, his humor was naturally not improved and its published expression did not become friendlier.

So in a vicious circle the dissension between the two parties led on both sides lot a very sharp type of discussion, in which unfortunately the personal tone was not lacking. As it always tends to happen in such instances the blame rests on both sides; but one cannot absolve Hahnemann from he blade that he has given the guiding motive to the inharmonious concert of the next decades.

Moreover, one must not forget that the tone of treatment among his contemporaries with their opponents frequently was not the most friendly, one which I mention only John Brown, Schelling and, as the most famous example, Schopenhauer, with whom similar reasons existed in that the unfortunate unsalaried lecturer understandably did not have the most cordial feelings for his powerful opponents at the University as Schelling and Hegel.

That this irritative tone between homoeopathy and school medicine still obtains in our time is essentially due to the fact that in homoeopathy we do not have a theoretic philosophic system before us about which one soon tends to be appeased, but a medical doctrine which naturally ever again leads to a friction in practical life whereby often the fight over bread was not the least factor.

Since, as is well known, in the nineteenth century money played no Role at all and also physicians and in particular the famous gave away their services for nothing, so repeatedly one has reproached Hahnemann in that, particularly when he acquired a reputation, he also demanded a greater fee and, when he assumed the capacity to pay, insisted on payment. Actually no reproach can be made out of this as we are informed on the other hand also of magnanimous remissions and the free treatment of the poor.

A mysterious impulse tends to lead a man to the place were he belongs according to his nature. If desire for money had been chief bent of Hahnemanns personality, he would have scarcely left the direct route of the practitioner and struck out on the stony path of the investigator and publisher, of which he could not know where they would lead him while even today for many the work in the temple of science is only a means to gain proximity to the poor-box.

If one considers further that even early Hahnemann had to support a large family and if one recalls of his later times that he was conscious that the had given great things some compensation, then this old reproach reveals itself a one of the poisoned arrows which were and are common as f old against the personality of inconvenient and hated opponents.

If Hahnemann had not had been the founder of homoeopathy, about which there still rages a fight, not very factually conducted by either side, then a with other great people, so with him, such personal defamations would never have been uttered or at least long since would have fallen into oblivion.

That the suspicion of his love for truth falls into nothing precisely in so seemingly a strong case as that of alkali pneum, has already been shown above.

If one reviews his writings and other characterizations, in particular his correspondence as a totality so one at any rate gains the impression of a man who was led in his thinking and doing by higher impulses even if we consider that in the then prevailing idiom much sounds more worthy than we would express it today.

Measured on the highest ideal of a human picture one will feel his hardness and intolerance as defect but just with him, similarly as with the equally hard and intolerant Luther one will judge these weaknesses more mildly since they were essentially not crass selfish impulses but he regarded it as a sacred obligation purely to transmit and maintain the new doctrine. it is to be hoped that with the initiated better evaluation of homoeopathy likewise the nature of its founder will no longer be perceived in such a partisan depreciatory manner.

The Work: If now in a brief summary Hahnemanns scientific work is to be evaluated so I omit here his services in the field of chemistry, hygiene, and psychiatry (See IV and VI). Only his chief accomplishment, the creation of homoeopathy, shall be considered here.

Hahnemann was, as deserves to be stressed over again, by virtue of his essential constitution, not a theorist nor even less speculator but empiricist whose chief goal it was to create a medicine without theory on the nature of diseases and without musing on “first causes” and the like. If this is not appreciated the basic motivation of his thinking and striving will not be understood.

Above (Chap.IX) Hahnemann was placed into comparison with Kant because he strived to do in medicine what Kant wanted to accomplish in philosophy: to mark out the limits of experience. for this reason one may call Hahnemann the “Kant of Medicine”, his goal was “to create a medicine within as shall be stressed here once more, the laying down of fundamentals and another the erection of an edifice in which, in regard to the sub- structure and the execution, many errors were made.

When we proceed from this fundamental of his nature to his particular views then first it is to be considered that from the beginning he was a supporter of vitalism and consequently from he very start was oriented to consideration of the living body and its counteraction (reaction) to influences and to have this interwoven into his trends of thoughts.

Already in his early works, particularly in the “Instruction for Surgeons” (1789) Hahnemann frequently employed the conception and likewise i the first work on his new doctrine (1796) (Nr.64) we find this conception which probably made it easier for him, if it did not permit him to present the “similia similibus” as a possible principle and one not contradictory to reason. With this he has created the building ground upon which he could erect his “Medicine of Experience”.

Naturally, it was first necessary to balance accounts with the ten prevailing medicine, so Hahnemann practiced a particularly detailed and sharp critique at is experimental basis, wherein he concerned himself especially with the prevailing materia medica and proved that one did not possess any fixed fundamental for evaluating the abundant treasure of materia medica on the basis of established knowledge. Even if Hahnemann here was not the first nor the only on to place a finger on this wound and he was able to base his views on Albrecht von Haller in particular, still his criticisms was the sharpest and most fundamental.

Rudolf Tischner