LIFE IS MORE THAN THE SUM OF CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS
THE ORGANON AND ITS APPLICATION IN PRACTICE
i. 20th Century Chamber Dictionary gives the meaning as: a method of investigation.
ii. The Concise Oxford Dictionary as: an instrument of thought, a system or treatise on logic
iii. Unabridged Webster’s Dictionary: an instrument of thought or knowledge for action; a system of rules or principles of demonstration or investigation. (Philosophy)
The ‘Organon of Medicine’ – whenever we mention ‘Organon’ it means the Organon of Medicine by Samuel HAHNEMANN – is a treatise on the investigation of Medicine. The Preface to the I Edition clearly says that …………… it was searching enquiry whether medicine then was well founded or not.”
As HAHNEMANN went into the investigation of Medicine he came upon new discoveries. These discoveries were tested by him for about 20 years (1790 to 1810) before he put them into print – the I Edition of the Organon – titled Organon of the Rational Art of Healing. This book created such a tremendous stir in the world of medicine in Germany then and within 2 years the II Edition was published (1812). The III was published in 1824 the IV in 1829 the V in 1833. The VI and last Edition was posthumously published i.e. in 1921 (1842) i.e. 78 years after the manuscript was ready for publication and that too in the German language. This VI Edition is therefore the final and definitive one and we have to follow only that. In our discussions we employ the VI Edition only.
The Organon has 291 paragraphs. The English translation was by Dr. William BOERICKE. A fresh translation was made by Kurt HOCHSTETTER of Santiago – Chile in 1977. It was called VI-b Edition. In 1963 a team consisting of Dr. Jost KUNZLI, Alain NAUDE and Peter PENDLETON published a fresh translation based on HAHNEMANN’s manuscript of the VI Edition in San Francisco. The English in this translation is modern and more easily followed.[*]
In many of the meetings held by different homœopathic bodies (Societies, Associations, etc.) questions are raised by the members about the basic tenets of Homœopathy – some of these questions are shocking to say the least like. “Is there a medicine to certainly cure such and such a disease in Homœopathy?” “ Is Homœopathy slow acting?” “What are characteristic symptoms?” “What should one do if the ‘indicated’ remedy does not act?” “What potency should be given?” “How many doses?” “When should we repeat the medicine?” “How do we know that the patient is on the road to cure?” “When should we resort to surgery?” etc.etc. If one goes through the Organon carefully over and over again answer for almost all these questions would be found. Why should we take someone’s opinion be it KENT, BOENNINGHAUSEN or anyone else when the book which is the source is available to us? It is my firm conviction that careful, repeated study of the Organon would improve the efficiency of the homœopath.
To go into the Organon now: Let me divide into three main parts: (i) What is disease? (ii) How to examine a disease? (iii) How to apply the medicine and restore health? A physician should know these three thoroughly. (paragraph 3)
Paragraphs 1to 3 are the three strong layers of foundation and every homœopath must keep it in view every day in respect of every patient, everytime.
Paragraph 6 says that ‘deviations from the former healthy state of the now sick patient which are perceptible to the patient himself, those around him and observed by the physician, forms the true disease picture. Very often the patient doesn’t say anything but the persons who accompanied him/her narrate the whole case. Para 7 says that the totality of the symptoms hint at the medicine. Therefore eradication of these symptoms is restoration of health.
Paras 9 to 16 deal with the Vital Force. These paragraphs have to be read again and again. Different methods of healing, explanation of the rational law of healing (Homœopathy) pathogenicity of the medicines, primary and secondary action of the remedies etc. have all been dealt with in paras 19 – 70. Paragraph 70 rounds up the discussions in the foregoing paragraphs.
After this, comes the part of therapeutics
Paragraph 71: The three main points for healing already stated in paragraph 3 are reiterated.
(a) Investigation of the disease (ii) Investigation of the effects of medicines, and (iii) appropriate employment of medicine
The highest ideal of therapy (2 – 5)
The vital principle and the dynamis of medicine (9 – 16)
The principles of homœopathic cure and the danger of allopathy (17 – 25)
The principle of the dynamics of diseases (32 – 69)
The principles of acute chronic diseases (72 – 81)
The classic principles of case taking (82 – 104)
The principles on how to develop our Materia Medica (105 – 145)
The principles of case analysis and evaluation (146 – 244 and 285)
The principles of homœopathic pharmaceutics (264 – 271)
The principles of auxillary care (286 – 290)
Like hot springs, electricity, magnetism, mesmerism, cold and warm baths, etc.
The practical application of the Organon in the day to day practice:
“Knowledge of the disease: this is the most difficult because it depends upon the Physician’s ability to trace the disease picture using all his senses, a keen observer. See HAHNEMANN’s Essay ‘The Medical Observer’ (1825). He must remember that the spontaneous narration by the patient has the highest value and second only the signs observed by the physician. Nothing which the patient said should be left unnoticed. Nothing which was expressed by signs or facial expressions, gestures or demeanours should be passed lightly. This is acquired by practice, hard work. Once this is mastered it becomes easy. For this purpose the Case Record Form may be divided into three parts: the first part concerning the name, sex, age, etc. of the patient; the background consisting of the previous history, family history(paternal/maternal: TB, Cancer, Skin, Allergies, Diabetes, Heart, etc. V.D.). Smoking, Alcohol, Contraception. The second or central part would consists of the chief complaint – its history, duration, precipitating factors, associated general symptoms, associated mental symptoms, modalities: hot, cold, damp, Sun, Sea, weather changes, Movement, Day/Night, Touch, pressure, etc. The third part would cover the ‘generals’: Heat, Cold, Damp, Sun, Sea Desires/aversions, Genito-urinary, Menses, Pregnancy, Sleep, Dreams, general aggravation/amelioration. Mental symptoms: different anxieties (worries): reactions to external stimulus like impatience, anger, contradiction, etc. Moods: depression, variable, jealousy, etc. Fear: Examination, strangers, darkness, thunder. Memory loss for Names, things, etc.
This is not an exhaustive list. If we look into the Repertory we will clearly perceive what are pathologies to look for:
The entries in this Case Record Form will indicate only the pathologies or the essential features of the disease drawn from the patient’s narration, the physician’s interrogation, observation, etc. These are to be abstracted out of all the signs and symptoms, the infinite variety of these including the appearance and behavior of the patient. The recognition of a specific disease would therefore depend upon the physician’s ability to recognize a whole picture of symptoms which have been abstracted out of a complex background. The danger is always present that by converging upon a particular symptom its connection with the larger whole, the totality, may be neglected.
The most difficult part of the whole art is in this – the portrait of the disease. The following 4 are the essential features of the drawing: (1) To listen, (2) To write, (3) To question, and (4) To coordinate.
Patient may underscore or undervalue some or exaggerate some symptoms. The physician will have to recognize the true value of the symptoms for the selection of the remedy. To recognize the ‘sick’ from the ‘well’ is a difficult task. Health is Positive qualities, Sickness is negative qualities. We must bear in mind that it is all a matter of quality.
What is disease? Deviation from healthy state.
What is Healthy state?
All parts of the organism held by the spirit-like autocractic Vital Force, as Dynamis, in admirable, harmonious vital operations, as regards both sensations and activities or functions, so that the reasoning spirit who resides in the organism can thus freely use this living instrument to reach the lofty goal of human existence.
Disease is: the disharmony in the vital operations, both sensations & functions: subjective and objective, in a temporal and spatial world, in which we live.
What is good or healthy, is a dynamic balance; what is bad or unhealthy is imbalance which means over-emphasis of one tendency and neglect of the other. Like birth and death health and disease are the two ends, poles, of the same individual. These are individual experiences, processes, an individual phenomena.
Health may be seen as that “state in which the spirit is free to pursue its aims (§9 “higher purposes”) and disease as “the presence of limitations.”
When life moves smoothly it is health; when stuck or static, it is sickness.
Healthy is to adapt to environment. Environment is always changing. To be healthy is to adapt to this change. Healthy man is always able to balance, to find harmony. Sensations come from without from the external mileu and functions occur in the within. These would be opposite and equal in a healthy man.
Symptoms: are the responses to the environmental stimuli. Environment includes food, weather, climate, friends, relations. Healthy or Sick depends upon the technique which the individual adapts to the environment. A healthy person is unobtrusive; he is not seen or observed or commented upon; he has no pathologies. He is quiet, does not make his presence felt. He just comes and goes. The sick person makes noise; makes his presence felt has pathologies. The more unhealthy the more you see him (complaining, hawking, snuffling, etc.). (“produce” remember the proving produce symptoms; similarly sick person produces symptom). A healthy person does not produce any symptom because he adapts to the symptoms smoothly by his own Vital Force. A person’s ability to change smoothly (flexibility) appropriately without symptoms, marks the healthy. A person who also knows who he is, where he is and knows where he is going, who lives in his centre i.e. Vital Force, is healthy. Where is this Vital Force centred? ‘It’s centre is everywhere and its periphery is nowhere.’
The healthy man realizes that all life in the world is connected. The cycle of nature is constantly evolving. Man also so. If in this process somewhere one gets stuck, sickness arises. Egocentredness is not individually at all. Egocentredness centres on the self image which is an illusion and a delusion. In true individuality a true being unfolds from the whole in a particular way for that particular moment (temporal & spatial). It is impossible to have a true individuality except when grounded in the whole. Anything else is egocentrism.
Anybody who is self-centred must be divided because in order to become self-centred he must establish a division between himself and the whole. Self-centredness produces tension. Goals to be achieved. Desire leads to distant lands, distant times and to distant points in space (temporal & spatial) one desires more, the more one gets frustrated, tense. Nonfulfillment of desires, disappointments, failures lead to tension. Tension leads to pathologies. The healthy man has no drives, no compulsions, no needs, no attractions, then his affairs are under control; he is a free man; No pathologies. Needs are bodily and desires are of Mind. Understand this well. Needs can be fulfilled but Desires cannot be. Desire is Need gone astray. Needs are simple, they come from Nature. Desires are complex, they are created by Mind. Needs are from moment to moment. Desires are not moment to moment, they are always for the future (e.g. ambition). Desires are projections into the future, they are not really needs. Desires are like the horizon. Always extending further, never to be realized.
A sick man does not fulfill his needs but attempts to fulfill his Desires (not in quality food but on fancy things). This is his misery, his disease. Hence give high value for prescription for ‘desires’ provided the symptoms are clear and strong.
Before selecting the rubrics; reflect: “What is going on in this person?” Do not think of any remedy until after you select the rubrics. Try to understand the theme in the case. Observe whether the patient is restless, shy, impatient, talkative, fearful, sleepy, suspicious, hurried, weeping, non-communicative, indifferent, cheerful, nervous, twitching, irritable – all these while in the waiting room, consulting room, bed-side.
The aim of Homœopathy is to “reduce susceptibility while increasing vitality so that responses are maximally effective with minimal internity and duration.”
Very carefully go through the rubrics in the repertory (Mind & Generalities) and you will see what pathologies are. We now see why Mind plays such great part in the homœopathic anamnesis and will soon learn to recognize them seen in a patient.
Having recognized ‘disease’, we have to now find the curative medicine. We all know that the remedy must be ‘similar’ to the disease.
There are so many excellent essays written by the masters as to how to work out the Similar remedy. Paras 7 & 153 – these two paragraphs are, in brief, the guidance for us to find the most similar remedy.
Next comes potency, the dose. The basic idea in Homœopathy is the Vital Force. If the Vital Force is disturbed disease comes. If the Vital Force is helped to restore itself by the homœopathic remedy, health is restored. Therefore, the amount of medicinal power required to help the Vital Force is directly related to the extent of disturbance, disequilibrium, disharmony, of the Vital Force. If the disharmony is at the deep mental level the potency also must be deep. If superficial level, the lower ones. There can be no other guidelines, other guidelines are only rule of the thumb and not based on homœopathic Law.
The remedy, the potency must ‘fit’ the individual sick Vital Force; then the disease is eradicated gently, rapidly and permanently. DUNHAM said that it must fit like a shoe to your child’s feet.
Those who cannot appreciate the Vital Force cannot practice genuine Homœopathy. “How can one talk about the Ocean to a frog in the well; or about ice to dragon flies.”
There cannot be a fixed remedy for a fixed pathology because individuals, every living being, is different. Water is for fish and air for men. Natures differ and needs with them. Hence there cannot be one measure for all.
The prognosis of the disease depends upon the mental/emotional set-up.
Let me conclude with a quote referred to Dr. Pierre SCHMIDT: “Now go from hence and witness the blandishments of ‘science’; behold the glamour of her laboratories, hearken to the tales of wonder told therein; hold fast all that is good. Then read your Organon, master it, apply it’s truths at the bedside. Let the year bring to you the ripe fruit of all this. Do not be impatient. Remember that ‘knowledge comes but wisdom lingers’ ………….
The study of Homœopathy is like setting out on an adventure and realizing “I am the adventure!”