Tag Archives: Kent

The problem with JT Kent and homoeopathy.

Hempel and Wilkinson were early bridge-builders between homeopathy and Swedenborgianism, but the principal catalyst for this conjoining of ideas was James Tyler Kent, professor of materia medica at Hering Medical College and Hospital in Chicago. He constructed a uniquely Swedenborgian approach to Hahnemannian medicine in his Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy (1900) by providing a full description of Swedenborgian philosophy and spelling out such relevant Swedenborgian ideas as a human being’s interior and external worlds, the influx from the internal to the external, and the dependency of the whole on the Divine.

Each of Kent’s medicines had a “personality” that corresponded to the constitution of the patient. Rather than treat the specific organ or lesion, Kent aimed his medicines at the pattern exuded by the patient’s soul. Kent’s grouping of patients by type was an echo of Swedenborg’s description of the spiritual realms, where he described communities of angels gathering according to their personality and function to form the organs of a vast Universal Human that made up the whole of the heavens. In his writings, Swedenborg characterized spirits as, for example, “angels of the kidneys” or “angels of the lungs,” ascribing these souls of the deceased with characters and functions that corresponded with those organs.

Doctrine of degrees: The greater the number of dilutions (in this case, on a scale from 1 to 200), the greater the potency of the homeopathic medicine; likewise, the higher the level of spiritual rarefaction (from the physical world to heaven), the closer one moves to the Lord.

Kentian homeopathy spread abroad, attracting Margaret Tyler and John Weir in Great Britain, Pierre Schmidt in Germany, and Denis Demarque in France. Nevertheless, the Kentian penchant for the constitutional (whole-person) prescribing of word-pictures to characterize medicines became almost a high art form and quickly fell into the hands of lay practitioners who popularized them even more. Today, due in no small measure to Swedenborg’s influence, homeopathy has become a bifurcated healing system with one faction looking wistfully at a more disciplined and reductionist process, seeking to fulfill a complementary role alongside mainstream medicine, and the other, enthralled by a vision that calls attention to the body’s essential harmony with the unseen forces of the universe.


Remove the Kent overlay!

The biggest obstacle to returning to the true application of the therapy of homoeopathy, is letting go of all the filters of Swedenborg doctrine as promulgated by Kent.

Kent single handedly,  managed to infuse the medical practice as developed by Hahnemann, into a quasi spiritual practice that diluted the efficacy of treatment.

The list of homœopaths who were members of the Church of the New Jerusalem and influenced by Swedenborg’s writings stretches from John Garth Wilkinson, who was both one of the first English homœopaths and the first translator of Swedenborg into English, through most of the great American homœopaths of the later 19th and early twentieth century, to a few of  today. The major figures who were responsible for the subversion of  homœopathy, were particularly Hering and Kent but also Grimmer, Farrington, Boericke, Tafel, Holcombe, Gram and Wesselhoeft were not only members of the New Church but were also deeply influenced by Swedenborg’s philosophy.

As is the case of every transcendentalism, Swedenborg´s also developed a symbolism, based upon analogy. His particular model depicted “spheres of influence”: the soul; reason and will and, finally, imagination, desire and memory. It is evident that this conception directly influenced Kent´s semiology.


Swedenborgs Doctrine of degrees: The greater the number of dilutions (in this case, on a scale from 1 to 200), the greater the potency of the homeopathic medicine; likewise, the higher the level of spiritual rarefaction (from the physical world to heaven), the closer one moves to the Lord

Some of Swedenborgs theories appeared to correspond to homeopathic notions: besides correspondences theory, the idea of the representation of the maximum through the minimum (consequently, of minimal doses), the refusal of aggressive medical intervention, the stress upon body-mind relationship, the postulate of matter-energy unity, the octaves scale (employed by Kent as a guide to the sequence of dynamizations). However, these affinities do not suffice as an explanation. It would seem that Swedenborgs ideas provided an “existential solution” that surpassed the frame of homeopathic doctrine.

Unfortunately, it resulted in a misguided answer to the deterioration of Hahnemann´s doctrine current in American and British Homeopathy. “Classic” homeopaths thought that therapeutic pragmatism was eroding the philosophical axis and many foundations of Homeopathy. That is to say, the hard-core of the technique was being discarded in an amazing speed by voices that claimed to “modernize the method”, even if it would imply in the abandonment of epistemological bases. A proper answer ought not to have attempted to transform Homeopathy into a new religious conception. This was not perceived by hard-liners, who fell prey to ideology, making Homeopathy the hostage of inflexible dogmatism.

As a fact, Kent did anchor most of his philosophy in Swedenborg´s system. Expressions such as “the inwardness of man”, his famous “organ correspondences”, the hyposthatization of will and thought to the center of human existence, all against a background of moral exhortations, manifest this influence.

Notwithstanding, there is another element that must be taken into consideration: emphasis on mental symptoms constituted for Kent more a guideline to the study of Materia Medica than a priori instructions concerning actual prescription. On the other side, it must be admitted that Kent´s new method of learning remedies led to the establishment of stereotypes. And this outcome deserves further discussion as such “medicinal personalities” threatens to substitute the plastic flow of the prover sensitiveness. No alleged typology may represent an improvement when compared to isolate symptoms, as they appear in the Pure Materia Medica. Provings do not depict complete images that are to be overlapped to the personality of the patients in order to find the suitable remedy. There are no Lycopodium-patients, no Sepia-personalities, no Sulphur exists. What we may find are persons, human beings, whose specific susceptibilities may partially or completely react to the  provings of each one of these remedies.

What emerged as a didactic tool became a distortion. Mental symptoms were exalted, under an archaic light. And it stimulated Homeopathy to construe static pictures.

In a framework that requires singularity, it is highly probable that mental symptoms may more easily convey particular traits. Human verbal process is more attuned to psychical features than physical ones. Sadly, this fact was misunderstood and many homeopathic schools neglected “organic” manifestations as they posited mental symptoms as the only guides of prescription. We can only appraise this development as completely wrong in the light of Hahnemanns research and directions and attributable to Kents religious views.


COULTER, H. L. Divided legacy. 2.ed. Richmond, North Atlantic Books, 1982. 4vols.

HEMPEL, Ch, J. Organon of the Specific Homeopathy. W.Radde. New York. 1853

KENT, J. T Materia Medica. Ed. Luz-Menescal Rio de Janeiro, 2002

KENT, J. T. Lectures on homeopathic philosophy. Memorial Edition. Chicago, Ehrhart & Karl, 1929.

KING, W.H. History of homeopathy and its institutions in America. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905. 4v.

MURE, B. L’homeopathie pure. Revu, Augmenté et Mis en Ordre par Sophie Liet. Paris, J.-B. Bailliére, 1882.

ROSENBAUM, P. Miasms. Roca, São Paulo, 1998.


Viewed through proving: Sepia has left the gym…

exercise sudoku“… It is a sluggish state of the body which requires exercise, and violent exercise to keep it in a state of comfort. …The … symptoms are … better from exercise in the open air…”

What remedy does this describe? Sepia, of course. We all know that Sepia is better for lots of exercise. Don’t we?

This is where it gets interesting. In the proving, for the most part when any physical exertion is mentioned, it’s actually a cause for aggravation. Not amelioration. Walking is mentioned over 90 times in this proving. Around 7 instances are in the introduction, and amelioration from walking appears around 8 times in a proving containing 1655 symptoms. All the rest – approximately 75 mentions of aggravation from walking by my count. Around 21 on these mentions relate to walking in the open air, and Sepia provers did note sensitivity to cold, but that still leaves us with over 50 instances where walking aggravated.

The opening sentences are quoted from Kent’s lectures – most of those reading this probably first met Sepia through Kent. We met this unfeminine female, who is cold, angular, depressed, worn out, and needs violent exercise to keep her human. Add to that the image of the ink-spitting cuttlefish, attacking with sudden sarcasm and retreating – it all gets very picturesque, so to speak. The problem with all these images is that they stick so firmly in memory that even once you know they are fallacious they are very difficult to dislodge. I remember a live case where the homoeopath pointed at the patient, who shrank back in dismay, and declared in tones that brooked no argument – “behold Sepia, fix the image of this patient in your memories!” Needless to say (after such an intro) Sepia didn’t work…

It gets even more interesting however when we look at the therapeutic pocket book, where Boenninghausen included Sepia in amelioration from physical exertion – in 4 points. This brings us to the issue of the grading in the TPB, which is often erroneously considered to reflect the intensity of the symptom. The significance of the grading relates to the extent to which that symptom was verified in clinical use. A symptom appearing in 1 point is a completely valid remedy symptom – just one which has been used less and therefore verified less in the clinic. Sepia in 4 points in amelioration from physical exertion means that Boenninghausen saw this amelioration over and over again, sufficiently so to include it in his carefully and meticulously crafted TPB. Sepia also appears in the TPB under different expressions of aggravation from physical exertion, but only appears in one, two or three points.

So we have the proving – pointing to aggravation from physical exertion, repeated over and over again by provers and by Hahnemann himself in his introduction to the proving. And we have Boenninghausen’s TPB weighting the balance in the direction of amelioration from physical exertion. What’s the “take home” from all this?

I’d suggest the following:

1. Blank out the Kentian “image” (and those presented by other homoeopaths before and since). This image is not helpful for accurate, focused prescribing.

2. Amelioration from physical exertion was presented by Boenninghausen – a master clinician. This strengthens a modality which only found moderate expression in the proving. There is nothing to negate the symptom, and many clinical cases, together with Boenninghausen’s grading in the TPB, to support it.

And possibly most importantly:

3. If Sepia looks like a good fit but the patient is not ameliorated from physical exertion, or is even aggravated by it – don’t rule out Sepia. If it looks like the best remedy for the case, give it. Even if the patient is fair, round, has blue eyes, and is a 15 year old boy…

Kentian Philosophy by Chandran K C

Kentian Philosophy- Theological Influence That ‘Divorced’ Homeopathy From Scientific Knowledge System For Ever.

By mixing up homeopathy with religion and theology, it was Kent who created the greatest divide between modern science and homeopathy.

Kent said in Lesser Writings:  “You cannot divorce medicine and theology. Man exists all the way down from his innermost spiritual to his outermost natural”.

Remember, these are not the words of a religious preacher. These words were spoken by a great physician while explaining the philosophy of homeopathy to his students. This statement clearly exposes the world outlook of Kent, which he used abundantly while explaining homeopathic philosophy.

By saying “you cannot divorce medicine from theology”,Kent actually ‘divorced homeopathy from scientific thought’ for ever.Kent remains to be the most quoted and most followed ‘homeopathic philosopher’ for that class of  ‘spiritual homeopaths’, who want homeopathy to remain ‘divorced’ from modern scientific knowledge and scientific methods.

Kent can be rightfully called the ‘father’ of ‘spiritual’ homeopathy.

James Tyler Kent is considered to be next only to Samuel Hahnemann in the history of homeopathy. The repertory he complied still continues to be beyond any doubt the most widely used repertory among homeopathic community. What a neophyte understands as homeopathic philosophy is actually ‘Kentian philosophy’. Kent’s ‘Philosophical Lectures’ is used as the basic text book to teach ‘homeopathic philosophy’ in colleges. No wonder the majority of homeopathic community vehemently resist any scientific thought or approach evolving in homeopathy. To be known as a ‘kentian homeopath’ is considered to be most respectable position among homeopaths.

I am quoting following statements of J T KENT from his two famous works, which amply demonstrate the ‘theological’ and ‘spiritualistic’ approach he consciously implanted into the body of homeopathic philosophy.


1. ‘You cannot divorce medicine and theology. Man exists all the way down from his innermost spiritual to his outermost natural.’ [Lesser Writings, p.641]

2. ‘A man who cannot believe in God cannot become a homeopath.” [p.671]

3. ‘The body became corrupt because man’s interior will became corrupt.’ [ibid, p.681]

4. ‘Man…becomes disposed to sickness by doing evil, through thinking wrong…’ [ibid, p.664]

5. ‘Psora is the evolution of the state of man’s will, the ultimates of sin.’ [ibid, p.654]

6. ‘This outgrowth, which has come upon man from living a life of evil willing, is Psora.’ [ibid, p.654]

7. ‘Thinking, willing and doing are the 3 things in life from which finally precede the chronic miasms.’ [ibid, p.654]


1.  ‘…had Psora never been established as a miasm upon the human race… susceptibility to acute diseases would have been impossible… it is the foundation of all sickness.’ [Lectures, p.126]

2. ‘Psora…is a state of susceptibility to disease from willing evils.’ [ibid, p.135]

3. ‘The human race today walking the face of the earth, is but little better than a moral leper. Such is the state of the human mind at the present day. To put it another way everyone is Psoric.’ [ibid, p.135]

4. ‘Psora…would not exist in a perfectly healthy race.’ [ibid, p.133]

5. ‘As long as man continued to think that which was true and held that which was good to the neighbour, that which was uprightness and justice, so long man remained free from disease, because that was the state in which he was created.’ [ibid, p.134]

6. ‘The internal state of man is prior to that which surrounds him; therefore, the environment is not the cause…’ [ibid, p.136]

7. ‘Diseases correspond to man’s affections, and the diseases upon the human race today are but the outward expression of man’s interiors… man hates his neighbour, he is willing to violate every commandment; such is the state os man today. This state is represented in man’s diseases.’ [ibid, p.136]

8. ‘The Itch is looked upon as a disgraceful affair; so is everything that has a similar correspondence; because the Itch in itself has a correspondence with adultery…’ [ibid, p.137]

9. ‘How long can this thing go on before the human race is swept from the earth with the results of the suppression of Psora?’ [ibid, pp.137-8]

10. ‘Psora is the beginning of all physical sickness… is the underlying cause and is the primitive or primary disorder of the human race.’ [ibid, p.126]

11. ‘…for it goes to the very primitive wrong of the human race, the very first sickness of the human race that is the spiritual sickness…which in turn laid the foundation for other diseases. [ibid, p.126]

It is obvious from these quotes that Kent took a very puritanical and moral approach towards the origins of disease within the human race and he apparently felt that Psora was equivalent to ‘Original Sin’ or the ‘Fall of Man’. That is why he says ‘homeopathy cannot be divorced from theology.

Hahnemann only said that Psora was the most ancient and insidious miasm, and that it was derived from skin eruptions of various types in the past, such as scabies (Itch), leprosy and psoriasis. These had been contracted by ancestors or in one’s own early childhood. The suppression of these conditions especially through the use of ointments he held to be the primary cause of Psora.

“Psora is that most ancient, most universal, most destructive, and yet most misapprehended chronic miasmatic disease which for many thousands of years has disfigured and tortured mankind… and become the mother of all the thousands of incredibly various chronic diseases… [Chronic Diseases, p9]”

But Kent, in his Lectures, greatly enlarged upon the theory of miasms, proposing that Psora was the foundation of all other illness, without which mankind would be pure and healthy both in mind and body, as in the Garden of Eden. He thus regarded Psora as being equated with the ‘Fall of Man’ and with original sinfulness. He portrayed Psora in this highly moralistic light as also being the foundation of the sexual miasms that came later.Beyond any doubt, Kent here deviated a lot from original concepts of Hahnemann regarding miasms, there by making homeopathy more of theology than medical science.

The theory of miasms originates in Hahnemann’s book The Chronic Diseases which was published in 1828. Around the same time that hahnemann decided to fix 30c as the standard potency for all homoeopaths. He declared that the theory was the result of 12 years of the most painstaking work on difficult cases of a chronic character combined with his own historical research into the diseases of man. But it was kent, who made homeopathy an art of  ‘ultra high’ dilutions.

From the quotes above, it is clear that Kent emphasized the moral aspect of origin of miasms, connecting it with ‘sexual sins’. Hahnemann unlike Kent, attached no moral dimension whatsoever to the sexual nature of the two latter miasms.

See Kent saying: ‘You cannot divorce medicine and theology”. And, ‘A man who cannot believe in God cannot become a homeopath.”

Being spiritual does not necessarily make one a ‘good’ homeopath or ‘bad’ homeopath. If one know how to apply simila similibus curentur correctly, and have enough knowledge of materia medica, anybody can be a ‘good’ homeopath. It was Kent, who unnecessarily introduced the issue of being spiritualist or not as a condition to be a ‘good’ homeopath. His statement that “one who does not believe in god cannot be a homeopath” is totally irrelevant. Hahnemann never placed that condition. It was Kent who ‘married’ homeopathy with theology- not Hahnemann. I was discussing that aspect of Kent’s contribution in my article. In my opinion, without freeing homeopathy from this ‘theological’ and ‘spiritualistic’ philosophy of kent, we cannot study and practice homeopathy as a ‘medical science’. Homeopathy will remain a ‘theological’ or ‘spiritualistic’ healing art as kent wanted it to be.

A scientist can be a spiritualist also. But a man with ‘scientific world outlook’ cannot be a spiritualist. You can give any number of great scientists who were spiritualists. Being a spiritualist, a scientist cannot utilize full potentials of scientific knowledge. To follow a ‘scientific world out look’ is is entirely different from ‘knowledge in science’. Homeopathy cannot be a ‘scientific medicine’, if you understand and practice it as ‘spiritual medicine’ or ‘theological medicine’. I know the influence of spiritualism and Kentian philosophy is very deep rooted among homeopaths, and my statement in this regard will not be easily accepted by the profession. But I am sure, homeopaths having ‘scientific world outlook’ will accept my statement.

Kent said “one who do not believe in god cannot be a homeopath. No man with a scientific world outlook can agree to this statement. Homeopathy as a medical science has nothing to do with ‘believing in god’. You can believe or not believe in god, and be a good homeopath.

I am fully convinced that without freeing homeopathic philosophy and homeopathic community from the spiritualistic or theological influence of ‘kentian philosophy’, we cannot hope homeopathy to become a scientific medical system.

Studying homeopathic philosophy directly from the original works of Hahnemann such as organon and chronic diseases, using scientific and logical mindset is essential first step to free oneself from the influence of ‘spiritualistic’ philosophy of Kent. Only then can we realize the importance of scientific understanding of homeopathy.

Differences between Kent and Hahnemann regarding Psora

I have highlighted Swedenborgian teachings, misapplication of Hahnemanns words and direct contradictions.

Mixing philosophy, religion and prejudice with fact is not a good idea ever.


James Tyler KENT, A.M., M.D.
Chronic diseases-psora

Dr Samuel HAHNEMANN (1755-1843)
Dr Samuel HAHNEMANN (1755-1843)

In the work on “Chronic Diseases” Hahnemann refers to psora as the oldest most universal and most pernicious chronic miasmatic disease, yet it has been misappropriated more than any other.

“Psora is the oldest miasmatic chronic disease known. The oldest history of the oldest nation does not reach its origin. Psora is just as tedious as syphilis and sycosis, and is, moreover, hydra-headed. Unless it is thoroughly cured, it lasts until the last breath of the longest life. Not even the most robust constitution, by its own unaided efforts, is able to annihilate and extinguish psora.”

The three chronic miasms, psora, syphilis and sycosis, are all contagious.

In each instance there is something prior to the manifestations which we call disease.

We speak of the signs and symptoms of a disease, we speak of the outcroppings of the symptoms when we speak of syphilis, but remember there is a state prior to syphilis or syphilis would not exist.

It could not come upon man except for a condition suitable to its development.

In like manner psora could not exist except for a condition in mankind suitable for its development.

Psora being the first and the other two coming later, it is proper for us to inquire into that state of the human race that would be suitable for the development of psora.

There must have been a state of the human race suitable to the development of psora ; it could not have come upon a perfectly healthy race, and it would not exist in a perfectly healthy race.

There must have been some sickness prior to this state, which we recognize as the chronic miasm psora ; some state of disorder, some state that it would be perfectly rational and proper for man to undertake to solve as to its cause, as to its history, and as to its very nature.

Some will say, but if we undertake to do this we will have to accept the word of God as historical, as relating to the beginning, because there is no other going so far back.

There is no harm in reasoning from that and I hope you will so accept it, not only as history, but as divine revelation, not that I wish to quote from or refer to it, because I never do so in my teaching.

If we look upon syphilis we will see that man’s own act leads him to the place where he comes in contact with syphilis; it is the result of action.

Syphilis is that disease which corresponds to the effect of impure coition, of going where syphilis is, of coming in contact with those who have it.

It is an action ; it is not so with psora.

Man does not seek it, he does not go where it is, he does not associate with those necessarily that have it.

He may be exposed; but syphilis is the result of his own action, which is an impure fornication or adulteration which he knows better than to seek, and knows enough from his intelligence to avoid.

Syphilis, then, is a result of action, although after once ultimated it may be perpetuated by accident.

There is always a state and condition of man that precedes his action, and if syphilis corresponds to man’s action, and there is a state prior to it a diseased condition that precedes, that state must correspond to that which precedes action, which is thinking and willing.

Thinking and willing establishes a state in man that identifies the condition he is in.

As long as man continued to think that which was true and held that which was good to the neighbor, that which was uprightness and justice, so long man remained upon the earth free from the susceptibility to disease, because that was the state in which he was created.

So long as he remained in that state and preserved his integrity he was not susceptible to disease and he gave forth no aura that could cause contagion ; but when man began to will the things that were the outcome of his false thinking then he entered a state which was the perfect correspondence of his interior.

As are the will and understanding, so will be the external of man.

As the life of man or as the will of man, so is the body of man, and as the two make one in this world, there is evolved from him an aura which is vicious in proportion to his departure from virtue and justice into evils.

And long before the time of Noah’s flood, which was an inundation that destroyed the evil ones that were upon the earth at that time, there was a manifestation, called leprosy, which was but the result of the dreadful profanity that took place in this period.

A great many people suffered then from the violent aura of leprosy, whereas the natural disorder of the human race today is a milder form of psora upon a different race of people.

If we had the same race upon the earth today we would have leprosy among them, as we now have the milder form of psora.

The ancients referred to leprosy as an internal itch.

Hence this state, the state of the human mind and the state of the human body, is a state of susceptibility to disease from willing evils, from thinking that which is false and making life one continuous heredity of false things, and so this form of disease, psora, is but an outward manifestation of that which is prior in man.

It was not due to actions of the body, as we find syphilis and sycosis to be, but due to an influx from a state, which progressed and established itself upon the earth, until we can see it as but the outward manifestations of man’s very nature.

The human race today walking the face of the earth is but little .better than a moral leper.

Such is the state of the human mind at the present day.

To put it another way, everyone is psoric.

We know what leprosy means, and to say that the whole world is in a state of psora is no broader or narrower than to say that leprosy prevails today upon the face of the earth, but it prevails in a milder form, in the form of psora.

A new contagion comes with every child.

As Psora piles up generation after generation, century after century the susceptibility to it increases.

This is true of every miasm and true of all drugs.

We find in the drugged world that those who have been mercurized become more susceptible to Mercury and are more easily poisoned by it.

Those poisoned with Rhus are so sensitive to it that they cannot go within a whiff of it ; those that have been poisoned in their earliest beginning with psora become more sensitive to it, so that in childhood the slightest whiff of it from their school friends will bring on a crop of vesicles between the fingers attended with the acarus.

Of course, some persons will say that the acarus is prior to the eruption, but they don’t know that a healthy person will not be affected by the acarus.

The miasm is simply evolved out of a state and the acarus is in turn its ultimate.

It is the state that is prior, the itchbug is not prior.

The human race becomes increasingly sensitive generation after generation to this internal state, and this internal state is the underlying cause which predisposes man to syphilis.

If he had not psora he could not take syphilis ; there would be no ground in his economy upon which it would thrive and develop.

The will and the understanding are prior to man’s action.

This is fundamental. The man does not do until he wills ; he wills what he carries out.

If man did what he did not will, he would be only an automaton.

He wills to go to a house of prostitution, or seeks far a prostitute with whom to copulate and from her he takes the syphilitic miasm.

This action of his will and this disease corresponds to the man.

There is a state in which he thinks it only, in which he wills, but in which he has not yet arrived at the state in which he can act.

First there was the thinking of falses and willing of evils, thinking such falses as led to depraved living and long for what was not one’s own, until finally action prevailed.

The miasms which succeeded psora were but the outward representations of actions, which have grown out of thinking and willing.

Psora is the oldest outward expression of the diseases of the human race representing this vital beginning, and next exists that state that corresponds to action.

Thinking, willing and acting are the three things that make up the science of the life of the human race.

Man thinks, he wills and he acts.

Now, that aura which is given out from the human race at any period of its history is that which corresponds to the state of the human race.

The children inherit it from their parents and carry it on and continue it.

As the internal is so is the external, and the external cannot be except as the result of the internal.

The internal state of man is prior to that which surrounds him ; therefore, environment is not cause ; it is only, as it were, a sounding board ; it only reacts upon and reflects the internal.

One who has the prior, which is internal, may have that which can follow upon the external ; it flows, as it were from the internal and effects its forms upon the skin, upon the organs, upon the body of man.

Such is influx and the inflowing is always in the direction of the least or no resistance ; so that it is in the direction of man’s affections, man’s loves.

Things flow in the direction he wants them to flow.

Diseases correspond to man’s affections, and the diseases that are upon the human race today are but the outward expression of man’s interiors, and it is true if the diseases are such they represent the internal forces of man.

Man hates his neighbour, he is willing to violate every commandment ; such is the state of man today.

This state is represented in man’s diseases.

All diseases upon the earth, acute and chronic, are representations of man’s internals.

Otherwise he could not be susceptible, or could not develop that which is within him.

The image of his own interior self comes out in disease.

This state has continued to progress, and it has accumulated and become complex.

The original simple psora has added to it syphilis and sycosis, and these progress and have now effected a state, they have continued to effect a state in mankind, whereby the race is so susceptible to acute affections that many of our citizens have every little thing that comes along, and every little epidemic of influenza brings them down with an acute attack.

This could not be but for the complications that a man has caused himself to get into, or has taken upon himself.

This was not done in one generation, but has been accumulating upon the face of the earth so long as we have a history of man.

Otherwise man would not be sick, for he should be a perfect animal in his animal nature.

Look at the perfection of all things put upon the earth ; see the plants, how perfect they are ; but man by his thinking evils and willing falses has entered upon a state wherein he has lost his freedom, his internal order, and is undergoing changes which the animal kingdom in its period, and the vegetable kingdom in its period, did not take on.

The miasms that are at the present day upon the human race are complicated a thousand fold by allopathic treatment.

Every external manifestation of the miasm has in itself a tendency to straighten mankind, but the human race is being violently damaged and diseases are being complicated for the reason that these outward expressions are forced to disappear by the application of some violent or stimulating drug.

At the present day nobody will acknowledge that he had the itch in his childhood, until it is seen by some intelligent mother that it is wise to tell the doctor everything.

The itch is looked upon as a disgraceful affair ; so is everything that has a similar correspondence ; because the itch in itself has a correspondence with adultery, only one is adultery as to internals and the other to externals, one succeeds the other.

So it is with all miasms.

And now we have the great miasms before us to treat, as physicians, in all their complications.

For instance, if a true sycotic gonorrhoea appears to us second hand it appears in its suppressed form, which is a thousand times worse than the original form.

All the outward manifestations have been made to disappear.

So it is with the external forms of psora, the vesicular and squamos eruptions, and all the outgrowths and outcroppings of psora.

Every conceivable thing has been resorted to to destroy its manifestations, and the disease has grown and grown until nobody can tell what its outcome will be.

How long can this thing go on before the human race will be swept from the earth with the results of the suppression of psora ?

From the suppression of psora we have cancerous affections, organic diseases of the heart and lungs, phthisis, and general destruction of the body.

How long can it go on ?

If Homoeopathy does not spread, if it does not establish its doctrines upon the earth so that sick folks can be headed under its principles, this threatening state and condition will increase.

Allopathic physicians are multiplying rapidly, and they are all doing the same thing, even more so now than at the time of Hahnemann.

It does seem as if Homoeopathy had become a necessity, but the kind of Homoeopathy that is preached in the majority of our schools will not check the progress of psora.

The majority of the college teachers sneer at the doctrine of psora ; they sneer at the miasms and continue in their efforts to establish Homoeopathy upon an, allopathic basis.

Homoeopathy as taught in the colleges at the present day is simply an attempt to establish Homoeopathy upon an allopathic basis, using allopathic names, calling chronic affections by different names, and treating diseases of organs by name.

No study is made of psora, but allopathic books are their textbooks.

Syphilis is not treated from cause to effect, but simply in the way of driving it back or holding it in abeyance, without any effort to permanently cure it.

The patient is filled with Mercury, the Iodides and other strong drugs, drugs that are well known to subdue it temporarily by an allopathic effect.

Psora has progressed until it has become the most contagious of diseases, because the more complicated it becomes the more susceptible are our children to its beginnings, and its contagion adds to the old disease; and while it goes on the children become increasingly sensitive to the other miasms.

The human race at the present day is intensely susceptible to psora, to syphilis and sycosis.

“Psora,” says Hahnemann, “became, therefore, the common mother of man’s chronic diseases.

It can be said that at least seven-eighths of the chronic maladies existing at the present day are due to psora.”

True, if psora could be brought back in a series to its simple state the external of the body would become wonderfully had to look upon, but the internal would be in a much better state.

The vesicular eruptions that come are sometimes dreadful to look upon, horrible in proportion to the vanity of the patient, but these must be allowed to evolve themselves and then wonderful good comes to the economy.

Hereditary states roll out in these manifestations, internal evils flow into external manifestations and Homoeopathy continues to drive them outward and outward, thereby leaving the economy in a state of comparative freedom.

Very commonly itch will not yield to the homoeopathic treatment immediately, because the action of the remedy is routing the heredity within, causing it to flow out more exteriorly into manifestations without.

One who does not know this, of course, loses heart when his remedies do not at once wipe out the eruption,

A sickly child may come out with eruptions, and if the child is treated properly the sickness will flow out into the eruption and that child will be cured from within out ; and finally after much tribulation the outward trouble will pass away, carrying with it the internal trouble.

So that when it is said that the appropriate remedy did not immediately wipe off the skin and make it smooth, and, therefore Zinc ointment or Sulphur ointment was resorted to, we see that it is a violation of law, and a wonderful damage to the patient.

Then Hahnemann gives a long list of cases with authorities, quotations and references which you should certainly look over.

He also gives the symptoms that he collected while observing and investigating.

It was the wonderful similarity between those symptoms when grouped together, representing an image of psora, and those symptoms representing an image of Sulphur, which led Hahnemann to the use of Sulphur in psoric conditions.

In psora we have the images of many remedies; all of the deep acting remedies have more or less something of the nature of psora.


“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?

Kent, the Constitutional Remedy, Aphorisms 5 and 6


By Vera Resnick

So what should it be – Aphorism 5 or Aphorism 6?  Let’s look at them… (text taken from 6th edition)

Aphorism 5:

Useful to the physician in assisting him to cure are the particulars of the most probable exciting cause of the acute disease, as also the most significant points in the whole history of the chronic disease, to enable him to discover its fundamental cause, which is generally due to a chronic miasm. In these investigations, the ascertainable physical constitution of the patient (especially when the disease is chronic), his moral and intellectual character, his occupation, mode of living and habits, his social and domestic relations, his age, sexual function, etc., are to be taken into consideration.

Aphorism 6:

The unprejudiced observer – well aware of the futility of transcendental speculations which can receive no confirmation from experience – be his powers of penetration ever so great, takes note of nothing in every individual disease, except the changes in the health of the body and of the mind (morbid phenomena, accidents, symptoms) which can be perceived externally by means of the senses; that is to say, he notices only the deviations from the former healthy state of the now diseased individual, which are felt by the patient himself, remarked by those around him and observed by the physician. All these perceptible signs represent the disease in its whole extent, that is, together they form the true and only conceivable portrait of the disease.

So – which one is it?  If the information described in Aphorism 5 is what is needed to make an accurate homoeopathic prescription, we can understand the Kentian-style intake, lasting hours and sometimes even days.  We can also understand how Kent – with a little push from Swedenborg, ok, a hefty shove – came to the concept of the constitutional remedy.  A remedy which encompasses the patient’s entire soul and psyche, in this life and – depending on your beliefs – in all those that came before and will come after…

Since Kent’s time, homeopaths have worshipped at the altar of the Constitutional Remedy, the simple substance – a Swedenborgian, not Hahnemannian concept – and this is what most non-homoeopaths and homoeopaths alike believe  Classical Homoeopathy to be.

But then what do we do about Aphorism 6?  This Aphorism and its instructions have been swept under the constitutional carpets of so-called Classical Homoeopathy for so long that the simple clarity of focus and objective has been lost to many.

Hahnemann’s language in Aphorism 6 is very clear.  “Take note of nothing but the changes in the health of the body and the mind”.   How on earth is it possible to ignore that?  But it is ignored.

The thing is – this is not an “either/or” situation.  Both Aphorisms are essential, but they serve different purposes.  We cannot take what has changed (Aphorism 6), if we don’t know what was before (Aphorism 5).  We cannot assess those changes and prioritize them if we don’t know whether there is an exciting cause, a maintaining cause, a miasmatic origin (or something that is harming the patient’s health and can be removed – see Aphorism 4) – if we don’t do the work set out in Aphorism 5.

But the central focus, the torch that has to guide us through the often labyrinthine nature of a complex case has to be Aphorism 6.  So many patients today are subjected to never-ending sessions where they are asked to disclose their most intimate thoughts, dreams and fantasies, their sexual urges, their emotional relationships past present and future, their failed expectations and unexpected successes.  The process is usually emotionally draining, hugely time-consuming, potentially harmful in terms of the patient-practitioner relationship, and without the context set out in Aphorism 6, of no use whatsoever and potentially hinders us from finding the best homoeopathic prescription for the patient.

The Therapeutic Pocket Book part 2/2.

So, why the Therapeutic Pocket Book as opposed to any other repertory?

Gary Weaver:

“………30 some years in homeopathic practice and case analysis, with 10 of those in serious research of Hahnemanns writings and casetaking, led me to the conclusion that most modern repertories have serious flaws both in content and methodology of use. Starting with Kents Repertory, it becomes apparent that it is a compilation of 5 other repertories, and consequently suffers from the inclusion of cross over rubrics, merged rubrics, different authors experience with remedies therefore different value judgements on numerical attribution of evaluation, and just plain wrong inclusion of remedies. As most modern repertories are based on Kent, it soon becomes very apparent that the whole foundation of the clinical indications for prescribing can be a 50/50 chance of getting to the right medicine.

This is not good enough. Can a person use Kent and get to a good prescription? yes.. but only if they know which rubrics to use and why use them as opposed to others. I discovered this by accident over 20 years ago whilst searching for a method in repertorisation to tighten up on my prescribing. What I did was just use the GENERAL rubrics instead of specifics. (Later I would find that the GENERAL rubrics were actually culled from Boenninghausens T.P.B. !)

In reading through original documents and english translations of Hahnemann, I came to the understanding that modern homoeopathy is but a bastardized version of Hahnemanns findings. So much so that Kent, through his perhaps well meaning but ultimately destructive input of religious Swedenborgian overlay of thinking, changed the whole methodology and comprehension of disease and treatment thereof into a spiritual exercise rather than a medical practice along sound and rational lines. The direction Kent gave for taking a case, are diametrically opposed to Hahnemanns instructions in his manual, the Organon.

Hahnemann realised at some point that a memory aid would be useful to allow a quick guide to the Materia Medica to shortcut the tedious work of looking through remedy after remedy for the right symptom, but his attempts to do so were not successful.

Boenninghausen entered into Hahnemanns life, and became a good student of the methodology. Boenninghausen listened and read and communicated with Hahnemann, and learned the discipline well. Hahnemann emphasised that knowledge of the Materia Medica was all important, and continually demonstrated the method of collecting symptoms from the patient so as to form a picture of the individual disease state, and then find the corresponding essential symptoms in the Materia Medica.

As a lawyer and professional Botanist, Boenninghausens abilities for accurate collation of details were suited for the tedious task of making a collection of rubrics to indicate which medicines had the symptom contained. However, as the books grew in size almost rivaling the Materia Medica he was trying to abbreviate, he realised an individual symptom naming procedure was not going to be useful in practical terms.

After thinking about it for a couple of years, Boenninghausen decided that  he would take symptoms and split them into component parts and assign them individually to the new style memory aid he was creating. The intent was that if a patient had a symptom that was observed, and the parts of the symptom were recombined, it would indicate the correct remedy or remedies for consideration. In trialling this method it worked very well. He also observed that sometimes a remedy would be indicated that did NOT have the particular symptoms contained in its provings but……..it cured the patient. He noted that the remedy did have the NATURE of the symptoms, but perhaps the location of the symptom was not the same as where the suffering patient expressed their disorder.

In this way, The TPB became able to synthesise the information gathered from the patient, and be matched with a medicine that produced a similar effect, but extracted from the sensation and the modalities and associated symptoms that had not been considered before in treating a particular condition. In this way, Boenninghausen, through the repertorial work, managed to demonstrate practically the aphorism:

§ 153 Sixth Edition
In this search for a homoeopathic specific remedy, that is to say, in this comparison of the collective symptoms of the natural disease with the list of symptoms of known medicines, in order to find among these an artificial morbific agent corresponding by similarity to the disease to be cured, the more striking, singular, uncommon and peculiar (characteristic) signs and symptoms1 of the case of disease are chiefly and most solely to be kept in view; for it is more particularly these that very similar ones in the list of symptoms of the selected medicine must correspond to, in order to constitute it the most suitable for effecting the cure. The more general and undefined symptoms: loss of appetite, headache, debility, restless sleep, discomfort, and so forth, demand but little attention when of that vague and indefinite character, if they cannot be more accurately described, as symptoms of such a general nature are observed in almost every disease and from almost every drug.

 Dr. von Bonninghausen, by the publication of the characteristic symptoms of homoeopathic medicines and his repertory has rendered a great service to homoeopathy as well as Dr. J.H.G. Jahr in his handbook of principal symptoms.

This aphorism is discussed fully in the I.H.M. seminars as it is a keystone to making a correct prescription in every case.

This repertorial system was the mainstay of homoeopathic work until Kent produced his own repertory. Kent wrote that he could not use the Therapeutic Pocket Book. I have given consideration to this statement, and have concluded that he could not use the book simply because he could NOT follow Hahnemanns directions in case taking as it differed from his own religiously overlaid comprehension of man sickness and spirit.

 It did not stop him from using the contents of the Therapeutic Pocket Book within his own repertory. Sadly, the combination of several repertorial works, lost any useable methodology. What was created was a complete mix of several authors work, and a not too reliable inclusion of over 600 remedies for symptoms. Kents repertory lost cohesion and flow which was apparent in the individual authors repertories, but disappeared in this work.

If a foundation is weak or unstable, then the product built on that surface will always be suspect. In this modern age we have many ‘new repertorial works’ but sadly ALL based on Kent. In reading them, all I see is symptom after symptom plus extra remedies (many unproven) added with NO checking done with the Materia Medica to see if the symptom is accurate.

Homoeopathy is not about constant additions. It is about find a medicine that is similar to the symptoms produced in sickness in an individual. The T.P.B. has 125 medicines only. Many cry out that it is not enough!. I would say that those complaining do not KNOW what those 125 medicines can do because they simply do not know the scope or the breadth of action of each one of those medicines because they have NOT READ THE MATERICA MEDICA to see! What we have in the T.P.B. is the most accurate indication for usage of medicines in a given set of symptoms every time. I prefer that for my patients.

Vladimir and myself, did not spend the time and research on the Therapeutic Pocket with the idea for commercialising it. We did it for us. As we became convinced of the efficacy of its contents, we included it in the OpenRep SYNOPSIS program as the most useful repertory for patient management ever. Our team, comprising of Drs, Guillermo Zamora, Marco Colla, Vera Resnick, Vladimir Polony, Isidre Lara and Gary Weaver have translated from the original German into English, Hebrew, Italian and Spanish. We are working on Marathi and other languages.”