APHORISM 7 AND APHORISM 153, OF THE ORGANON – THE HEAD AND HEART OF ANAMNESIS
Aphorism 153 is the basis for every choice of a homœopathically specific remedy and Aphorism 7, as we will see. How far is these rules which are the unambiguous assertion of the founder of Homœopathy have been followed?
What is of the greatest priority is the daily deep study and driving in of the fixed laws which helps the practical application of Homœopathy, that is; continuous better learning of the homœopathic Anamnesis, the classification of the symptoms and thus finding the appropriate curative remedy; not the carrying out plant experiments, other researches, discussion of epistemological-philosophical problems of which a whole lot are there in regard to Homœopathy that can be discussed of course.
If everything is perceived brilliantly by us, if we could say, letting alone the possible blunders and failures in the daily practice, that we have trained ourselves in Practical Homœopathy for long, that we know already how the remedy choice is achieved by us, then the only thing left is to refine our work, an ultimate whetting of our homœopathic tools; if we could say so, then indeed every day of practice would be celebration; because then we could consider carefully what everyone who has experienced happily the truly curative action of a potentised medicine. We could consider the problem of what lies behind the spirit-like action of the medicine, behind the Similie idea and so on and so forth. Unfortunately – and one must take cognizance of the fact without feeling disturbed – we do not seem to have not gone that far yet.
We seem to be as most of us have always been in the past in conflict with the basic principles of Homœopathy. Same position about the Anamnesis, about the classification of the symptoms and indeed about Aphorisms 7 and 153.
Instead of conflict we should learn the technique of using our work tools. But we are not that far. It is not a negative statement but is only a statement of actual fact.
Much can be said as to why we have not achieved thus far. We need not regret but rather take the pains to improve ourselves. That is, unflagging efforts about the technique of finding the remedy.
Aside all theories and ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ are the Alfa and Omega of our daily homœopathic work. Everyday, we are confronted with the results of our efforts, with the negatives and positives. Everyday, we experience reverses. But we can also perceive what HAHNEMANN said: “The physician, in this spirit becomes directly assimilated to the divine Creator of the world, whose creations he helps to preserve and whose approbation makes him thrice blessed.”
Do not, please, take this as sentimental or romantic. One who would have cured with our medicine even only one chronic case could and would have had such experiences. To one who meditates on this saying it will not appear to be a too grand or dramatic feeling but would from careful observation feel with absolute certainty that the approbation of the Creator gives the greatest happiness to those who work with medicines appropriate to humans and human kindness, which homœopathic medicine is. One who employs it according to its Similie principle binds man and nature most profoundly; he has known since long what has only now come to be known slowly about environmental revolution, that men and nature are ultimately a single unit, are intertwined into one another for better or for worse. And one who as a therapist draws his consequence out of this knowledge and also the concept of disease, the purpose, and meaning of every disease and with thorough accord attempts to cure with nature substances which is the satisfaction of the making of the destiny of every man would realize this; truly genuine Homœopathy is a matter of experience, personal experience.
I feel that we as homœopathic physicians must cherish such thoughts. With all other therapies there is no direct relationship existing between the physician and religion. The greatest Nihilist may be a good surgeon, and so on. Our therapy requires at the foundation level an attitude which must be religious. We cannot behave half-heartedly or be neutral but be religious and we know that the physician’s greatest medicine is Love that true Physician which means homœopathic physicians, are not just products of the medical school. The physician comes from the heart – and not just only from the intellect. Ask a seriously sick patient – he requires very less medicine. He requires daily care, he requires kindness and love. One who was himself once down knows everything that a truly loving environment can produce. And a patient who declines such a loving comfort is not normal anymore. He thereby shows a very unusual, individual behaviour and – here again – he needs from us a medicine which takes into consideration this fact.
All these examples are from experience of many years and not constructed.
Homœopathy requires a radical change of one’s views. It does not shut out from its thought the clinical symptomatology apriori – but it goes far beyond these symptoms, it goes far above the pathological process. It does not let Pneumonia rest at that. It does not stay put with the clinical concept and with the clinical picture of the disease – it goes behind before the occurrence of the disease in the patient, how he was purely personal and individual in all his symptoms, signs and modalities; it builds the clinical picture from another angle without flinching if it leads further to the remedy. If in a patient we have nothing beyond his Sciatica on clinical or other pre-disease process then we should refer, for example, into the repertory for the clinical rubric Sciatica and look only there and nowhere else for the remedy which would be found in this rubric. Naturally the sub-rubrics below which distinguish many valuable modalities etc., must be considered. For example we will not utilize blindly the rubric ‘depression’ in a pregnancy psychosis but rather consider the special rubric ‘depression, in pregnancy’ and look for a curative remedy from that. Again, we are not to survey the length and breadth of a rubric but rather keep our eyes open for other rubrics. Then the curative method becomes curative art. Many are uneasy when we speak of the ‘art’ they would rather say the term ‘science’. If we say ‘science’ we are mod but then we are not homœopaths. It is really good to be a ‘homœopath’ than be a ‘scientific doctor’. While there is a doctor in the homœopath there is no homœopath in the doctor.
Leave out the term ‘art’ in respect of all other therapeutic methods – in Homœopathy it exists. Homœopathy tolerates neither trash nor junks which are aplenty in Medicine. As against that, it goes well with art by all means and as much deeper one penetrates into Homœopathy so much more enters into regions where the art-cure originates. All these based on personal experience.
Never can routinism find entry into Homœopathy as in other medical systems. Let us gather practical experiences. Let us gain better and better ability to compare medicines, and every single patient – even if he comes only for an abscess – is for us a never – before – occurred new one and it does not mean the abscess but the man who has the abscess, who has his very own abscess. Every disease case requires of us a new view, a new visual angle, a first-time-never-occurred decision.
We are not putting down anyone disparagingly. Every physician – leaving aside exceptions which exists everywhere and will always be - everyone cares about his patients and thinks of what is best for him, all are respectable men and women.
But the homœopath has a word, so to say. That is, he is not expected to give a standard remedy, that he is oriented with the finest peculiarities of the disease. He cannot at all handle like others, if he does like others his art suffers wreckage or – and it is not rare – he degrades himself to ‘cross-breed’ methods.
All these are not laments or moralization. It should be pointed out, again and again, and without let, that everyone who prescribes according to our therapeutic methods must have the necessary serious-mindedness. It should not be regarded as brow-beating or cutting at the individual initiative when this is drilled in repeatedly. A child who has burnt his finger bewares of fire. A homœopath who has burnt himself once is similarly careful. And certainly everyone who with perfunctoriness, thoughtlessness, sterile thoughts processes the essential rules of Homœopathy will experience the burn. If Homœopathy is considered as a complementary therapy then it must be clear as to how it is to be comprehended. Complementary is adjunct, Homœopathy is complementary only when it is called in as an adjunct, when the therapy that is being given is not sufficient. Homœopathy itself may need complementary therapy to substitute or add as in Diabetes, malignancies, but only is such cases which are rare. In most other common diseases we are successful with Homœopathy alone rightly and do not require any supplementary or complementary. One who thinks that Pneumonia requires besides anti-biotics Homœopathy as complementary must know well that according to the homœopathic point of view it is a joke. One who has not the required trust to handle pure homœopathically should without twinge of conscience, handle purely allopathically with anti-biotics, diuretics, etc. But he should not mix up therapies that are in the opposite poles. He learns nothing by doing so. One cannot be in the cellar and attic at the same time; attempts to do so will only make one go no where and he will simply stay stuck in his ignorance and confusion.
One who wants to handle well through Homœopathy a problematic, acute or sub-acute disease should be already having a good knowledge of handling chronic diseases. Only out of the experiences, namely successes and failures in these diseases, could the capacity to quickly and with certainty differentiate be acquired between the valuable, significant and insignificant symptoms, signs and modalities in the acute and difficult cases.
On the other hand we do not get every day a really problematic kind of acute disease and we have so many other acute cases that one may miss or bungle and not always and at once find the similie.
Everyone must know his own limitations, everyone should however remember that his limits are not necessarily the limits of Homœopathy. Homœopathy has no limits. Each day, each hour, we can, we must add newly to our learning. I would recall here the words of the great homœopath H.N.GUERNSEY
“By those of us who practice the true scientific art of healing, the blind are made to see, the insane to become rational again. We dissipate tumors of all kinds, open occluded passages and remove all morbid and material growths and accretions that result from disordered vital force. It remains for us to remove the bounds of incurable diseases and to declare the possibilities to all, because we are following on in that true stream of science which flows from the infinite to the finite.”
Dr. Henry N. GUERNSEY
(Transactions of the International Hahnemannian Association, 1883, p. 280.)
“Therefore please remember that Homœopathy is a way of evolution. It goes so far, that we actually have a poor conscience, in a manner of speaking, I say. Why? While we have a whole share of cases in which we have poor results we should know that the right remedy is there, it is there in our medicinal treasure and that we only have to find it out so that the patient recovers! But, which is it ? That is the question, and not knowing the answer is what makes us weak. Let us think of an asthmatic, a chronic gastric patient: when we do not succeed we know that it is not the fault of Homœopathy, but us, because we are not in a position to find the curative remedy wanting to the patient. He has come to us for that.
Now, since we know – and we have learnt it in the course of our homœopathic experience – that it could be otherwise: it rankles us, not because we have a bad conscience but because we reveal our impotence when we do not make headway. Just as we know that an asthmatic, rheumatic, a chronic gastric patient gets cured by us in many cases – I say, in many, not in all – and since we have experienced it for long and will continue to experience, that it is possible; the failure cases depresses us. We should analyze not only the failure case, but also analyze what further deficiencies we have.
We must be indefatigable for this reason one cannot do anymore
In my experience the older generation of homœopaths were indeed indefatigable. Read the old journals bursting with case reports, philosophy, etc. compare with what we have been having since last two decades upto now. It is a pity that the younger generation do not have the tenacity to search for the remedy. On the contrary they are overawed with wonderful ‘advancements of Medicine’ which is of no use whatever for selecting the similar medicine.
For us Homœopathy must become an experience, a daily experience (HAHNEMANN called his therapy ‘Medicine of Experience’ or Practical Therapeutics), it must be more exciting than any good thriller story. I even venture the observation, if this excitement does not occur, is not experienced every day, then there is something wrong with that homœopathic pracice.
HAHNEMANN has put Aphorism 7 before Aphorism 153. Not in the numerical order of estimation. It should be clear to us that not every Aphorism has the same value as the other.
We take Homœopathy seriously, take HAHNEMANN seriously. It is of no use if we print HAHNEMANN’s head on our letterhead, hold large celebrations in his name and do not take him earnestly.
I think that we have said enough now on Aphorism 153. In the clinical discussions we have to carry through into practice what till now could be only expressed as quasi-table-talk strategy.
We now turn to the Aphorism 7. It is likewise one of those Aphorisms which is of utmost significance and essentially to those who would like to pursue Practical Homœopathy. it is not one to be just read over or skipped over but is vital. Aphorism 7 is related to Aphorism 153 like the neck to head. Neither can be without the other.
HAHNEMANN wrote something which could enter into the head of a clinically trained physician. He writes: “since it is not possible to perceive in a disease nothing as indicators of the disease besides the causa occasionalis which is to be removed, it must only be the symptoms through which the disease calls for the appropriate remedy and through the same that it can indicate the remedy. It must therefore be the totality of these its symptoms, this outwardly reflected image of the internal nature of the disease, that is, the disease of the Vital Force which must be the chief or the only through which the disease can make itself understood as to which medicine is needed”.
HAHNEMANN repeats it when he says “ so, in one word, the totality of the symptoms must be the chief and the only indication to be perceived by the physician in each individual disease case and which he has to remove through his art…, that the disease is cured and changed into health”.
This Aphorism 7 seems to have been just so poorly valued or understood as also Aphorism 153. Basically this Aphorism has just so little been thought over by us just as about the difference between a dilution and potency of a homœopathic medicine, which means, that the immense and fundamental significance of this Aphorism does not happen to have been given due value. In the recent two decades we rarely hear these Aphorisms in any of the big seminars.
The totality of symptoms is required by us only so that we are able to classify the rare symptoms, signs, from it. If we do not have the totality of the symptoms it is unthinkable that we can come up with certainty on all possible rare symptoms. What for example are the trivial similarity of men among themselves: the entire species of human are so that they show an almost total similarity.
This quasi-absolute similarity does not interest us; they are, as it were, “Pathognomonic”; we are interested, how the one walks, how the other one walks, how the finger print of one is and how the other one’s. In such and other things are characterized the individual humans, not in his 5 fingers, his organ systems as such, his two ears and so on.
For choosing the homœopathic remedy we do not look for the common place similarity, no, we search for the characteristic similarity in the true meaning of the theory of the similie. One who searches for this in the totality of the symptoms, in the entirety of the symptoms, shows that one has not clearly understood the similie idea.
It is simply a foregone conclusion that one perceives that the totality of symptoms of the sick person cannot be identical with the totality of the symptoms of the medicine.
We require from the patient “only” few peculiar, rare and exactly taken individual symptoms and we require the same symptoms, the truly similar in the medicine. Also with the medicine we need only few peculiar, rare symptoms. No one can be expected that immense number of symptoms observed in Sulphur are all typical of Sulphur. And I repeat it, every person has two ears, one nose, one heart etc., but every person has his entirely own, typical for him only, fingerprint. And every Sulphur – patient has besides a whole mass of other symptoms, other relatively small number of symptoms, which are typical of Sulphur in which the Sulphur patient will be identical with.
The allopath treats the bacilli, viruses etc., the substitutes in many cases. We treat the rare symptoms; so simple is it. Only we must find such, otherwise we must pass. Once you know where the door is you will not struggle to get out through the wall. You will know the door so well that you will open the right door to the curative remedy.
And throughout life we search out for the rare symptoms and the question which we are to answer is: “how are you, my dear homœopath, with the rare symptoms”. That in a nutshell is the essence of Homœopathy. I have only drawn your attention to the door.