“If it is not done with exactness, let no one boast to have imitated me, nor expect a good result”

It is difficult to shift one’s mindset from an allopathic to a homoeopathic mode of interpreting and treating illness. However, once that shift is made, the new way of seeing things comes sharply into view, almost like the moment you are able to see an apparently three-dimensional image jump out of a two-dimensional page. Once you see it, you cannot “unsee” it.

Oddly enough, it seems to be even harder to make the shift from a Kentian, constitutional view of homoeopathy, to return to the original basics as practised by Hahnemann and Boenninghausen. Perhaps because so much is similar – even if the mistaken Kentian premise has catapulted the entire therapeutic method along a completely different trajectory than originally intended. The same terminology is used, often the Organon is quoted (usually minus Aphorism 6), the same polychrests show up, and despite the plethora of new and fantastically proven remedies (fantastic as in fantasy…), often many of the same older remedies are used.

Which brings me to a footnote that appears towards the end of the theoretical part of Chronic Diseases. I have always seen this quote as very clearly expressing the importance of experience over intelligence, the importance of recognizing and learning to use what works even if we don’t understand it. However, I find within this particular context, the following sentence stands out: “If it is not done with exactness, let no one boast to have imitated me, nor expect a good result.”

Or in colloquial British, ’nuff said. Over to Hahnemann:

  … It requires quite an effort to believe that so little a thing, so prodigiously small a dose of medicine, could effect the least thing in the human body, especially in coping with such enormously great, tedious diseases; but that the physician must cease to reason, if he should believe that these prodigiously small doses can act not only two or three days, but even twenty, thirty and forty days and longer yet, and cause, even to the last day of their operation, important, beneficent effects otherwise unattainable.

Nevertheless this true theorem is not to be reckoned among those which should be comprehended, nor among those for which I ask a blind faith. I demand no faith at all, and do not demand that anybody should comprehend it. Neither do I comprehend it; it is enough, that it is a fact and nothing else. Experience alone declares it, and I believe more in experience than in my own intelligence.

But who will arrogate to himself the power of weighing the invisible forces that have hitherto been concealed in the inner bosom of nature, when they are brought out of the crude state of apparently dead matter through a new, hitherto undiscovered agency, such as is potentizing by long continued trituration and succussion.

But he who will not allow himself to be convinced of this and who will not, therefore, imitate what I now teach after many years’ trial and experience (and what does the physician risk, if he imitates it exactly?), he who is not willing to imitate it exactly, can leave this greatest problem of our art unsolved, he can also leave the most important chronic diseases uncured, as they have remained unhealed; indeed, up to the time of my teaching. I have no more to say about this.

It seemed to me my duty to publish the great truths to the world that needs them, untroubled as to whether people can compel themselves to follow them exactly or not. If it is not done with exactness, let no one boast to have imitated me, nor expect a good result.

Do we refuse to imitate any operation until the wonderful forces of nature on which the result is based are clearly brought before our eyes and made comprehensible even to a child? Would it not be silly to refuse to strike sparks from the stone and flint, because we cannot comprehend how so much combined caloric can be in these bodies, or how this can be drawn out by rubbing or striking, so that the particles of steel which are rubbed off by the stroke of the hard stone are melted, and, as glowing little balls, cause the tinder to catch fire? And yet we strike fire with it, without understanding or comprehending this miracle of the inexhaustible caloric hidden in the cold steel, or the possibility of calling it out with a frictional stroke.

Again, it would be just as silly as if we should refuse to learn to write, because we cannot comprehend how one man can communicate his thought to another through pen, ink, and paper -and yet we communicate our thoughts to a friend in a letter without either being able or desirous of comprehending this psychico-physical miracle! [these days, we can add so much more to this list, driving a car, using a computer, using a cellphone and more…vr]

Why, then, should we hesitate to conquer and heal the bitterest foes of the life of our fellowman, the Chronic diseases, in the stated way, which, punctually followed, is the best possible method, because we do not see how these cures are effected?

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2 responses to ““If it is not done with exactness, let no one boast to have imitated me, nor expect a good result”

  1. One additional difficulty is: You have to expose yourself. If several experienced homeopaths analyze and repertorize the same case in the Bönninghausen way, they most likely arrive at the same remedy. If several Homeopaths analyze and repertorize in different speculationist´s ways, they arrive each at a different remedy. One will give a lanthanide, the other a plant, the third a “column 2 row three remedy”. Some teachers even get mad at their attendants if they arrive at the “right” remedy in short time. This is a real experience of a friend of mine, attending a seminar held by Sankaran. Rayan froze, then run out of the auditory.

  2. Pingback: “Si no se hace con exactitud, que nadie se jacte de haberme imitado, ni espere tampoco buenos resultados” | Jose Guillermo de la Paz. M.D. I.H.M.

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