Isopathists

photo by gina tylerIsopathists
Author Peter Morrell

A very good measure of the attitude among homeopaths can be gained by considering their view of isopathy, higher potencies, nosodes and the miasm theory, because these topics have tended to clearly demarcate those of a more spiritual disposition from the materialists, and therefore also reveals the “intraprofessional tensions over what constitutes proper homeopathic practice.” [57] Isopathy, or “the cure of diseases by their own morbid products or the supposed exciting causes, are, far from being a novelty, on the contrary of very ancient date.” [58] Dudgeon [1820-1904] is in no doubt that “the honour of having introduced isopathic heresies into the homeopathic school…[falls upon] our transatlantic friend Dr Constantine Hering,” [59] who, according to Dudgeon, simply raked isopathy “up from the dust and rubbish of antiquity…much encouraged by Gross and systematised by Lux.” [60] Yet, other homeopaths took a far more generous view: “the indispensable curative service of the products of disease…safely administered in sickness.” [61] “for the past five years I have regularly used the bacillus virus as part of my daily practice…with great satisfaction;” [62] “I think very highly of Koch’s remedy…I use it in high potency…” [63] In particular, it was claimed, nosodes could be used to neutralise old internalised illness states [dyscrasias] or remove invisible ‘taints’ that prevent ordinary remedies from working: “the nosode has removed the miasmatic block,” [64]. Then “the remedy will work again after the block is removed with a nosode,” [65]. This much at least is the empirical observation of those who use them in clinical practice: nosodes were not so well proven as “well-known polychrests…but have been so successful;” [66] their use “depends more on clinical experience…[which has] accumulated for many years and has been checked by the experience of so many practitioners that it is considered trustworthy.” [67]

Yet, Dudgeon denounces isopathists outright as “homeopathic heretics distinguished for the eccentricity of their aberrations.” [68] By not exactly mincing his words on such people, which reveals his abhorrence for that type of person, this exposes him as a ‘non-believer’ in miasms, who poured nothing but scorn on the entire theory. Leading British homeopaths, Robert Dudgeon and Richard Hughes [1836-1902], “were ‘pathological prescribers’, their ideas contrasting with those of Frederic Quin,” [69] who mostly used the 30c potency, like Hahnemann. [70] The low-potency pathological approach dominated early British homeopathy, c.1830-1870. As a Hughesian homeopath, a 3x man, Dudgeon also poured scorn on any potency above 6x. Dudgeon’s colourful and emotive language arguably show that he was almost an allopath, unable to conceive of anything beyond the rather rigid ideas at the core of homeopathy – single drug, similars, and small doses, provings. One of Hahnemann’s star pupils [Clemens von Boenninghausen], who had little patience for low-potency types like Dudgeon, called them “amphibians…neither homeopaths nor allopaths…giving low dilutions in frequent repetition.” [71] Such a quote echoes Hahnemann himself when he said: “the converted are only hybrids, amphibians.” [72]Such tensions between the “genuine homeopaths and the pretenders,” [73] were soon to grow.

Detesting signatures, woolly or vaguely spiritual concepts, Dudgeon’s protestations reveal a desire to cling doggedly on to a tidy image of homeopathy of the weaker allopathic type. Threatened by the challenge to his beliefs that the high potencies and nosodes represented, most of all he simply did not want them to hold any truth. The key to the whole matter probably rested in some undisclosed claim to professional credibility and prestige that such ‘amphibians’ had conceived for themselves as respected practitioners to blend in within medicine as a whole, and their equal desire to influence its future direction. For such low-dosage, eclectic homeopaths as Hughes and Dudgeon, the ‘dangerous’ views of high potency homeopaths “were hopelessly unscientific, metaphysical, and a recipe for the permanent closure of doors to professional credibility.” [74] Thus, their ‘real problem’ was tied in with prestige and a desire to tie their version of homeopathy more firmly to the allopathic mainstream. They knew that transcendental methods and ideas would seriously compromise such a cosy arrangement.

C. Hering (1800-1880)

Portraying Dr Hering [1800-1880] as “the original suggester of the heresy,” [75] isopathy is, he contends, “stretching the principles of homeopathy too far. [76] It is “a mere clumsy attempt to revive the doctrine of signatures under a most irrational and repulsive form.” [77] He depicts so much of it as “ineffable trash. [78] While isopathy does indeed stretch the principles of homeopathy, but at its core, there sits an empirical database of some real cures. Attempts to lightly dismiss the doctrine do not comprise robust or measured intellectual invalidations, but more acts of disbelief and prejudice. Some prominent and respected homeopaths, such as Boenninghausen, repeatedly testified to the power of these high potencies: “the great curative power…of high potencies…since I almost exclusively employ these,” [79] “the efficiency of high potencies…[is] beyond all doubt;” [80] “since 1844…I have used high potencies almost exclusively.” [81] He mostly used the 200 and lower M potencies. Undoubtedly, Dudgeon and others closed their eyes to these claims and just wished they would go away.

Dudgeon also mixes isopathy up with much absurd material from antiquity, telling us that “Galen says that the brains of a camel are a cure for epilepsy,” [82] and that “the organs of foxes, wolves, dogs, sheep and swine are arbitrarily selected for supplying the remedial agent.” [83] This seems like a pretty desperate attempt to smear isopathy with any dirt he can find, including ancient and discredited, half-baked material on ‘signatures’, claiming that much of it is “the offspring of a prurient imagination or a most perverted pathological creed.” [84] Yet, by seeking to denounce and demonise isopathists as extreme deviants within homeopathy, a sect within a sect, and opponents of true homeopathy – enemies within – he calls for them to be expelled from the mother church and all ties severed. He condemns them as having no proven therapeutic value and of being an embarrassment that invites nothing but ridicule on homeopathy as a whole, and which threatens his undeclared desire to see homeopathy pulled closer to the allopathic mainstream.

Even when he claims that the use of isopathic remedies “has never extended beyond a few whimsical and fantastic individuals,” [85] which is not actually true, this exposes his attempts to deviantise isopathists, without successfully discrediting them at the intellectual level. It is an act of disbelief, that attempts to socially exclude, stigmatise and expel them from within the movement as unwanted heretics. This is also apparent when he refers to what he calls the “extravagances of the isopathists,” [86] their only extravagance being their use of nosodes and the higher potencies, accepted in the light of the miasm theory. [87]

This point is made abundantly clear when he says “the isopathic heresy, with its innumerable divergences and extravagances, has brought no small amount of ridicule upon homeopathy, and has been eagerly seized on by some of our opponents as a proper mark for their wit and satire. [88] Being unable to expel them by sound intellectual invalidation based upon actual homeopathic principles culled from the Organon, for example, the last resort is to have them deviantised as just ‘too weird’. Dudgeon always answers his own rhetorical question, “can we admit the truth of the isopathic principle as a rule of cure?” [89], with a resounding ‘no’.

He also accuses isopathy of being saddled with logical inconsistencies, and tries to show that many nosodes have no rational basis because they are not real remedies: “to give the morbid products of non-contagious diseases and the morbid matters excreted by some contagious diseases, which do not, however, contain the contagious principle of the disease…these matters are not capable of producing the disease in healthy individuals.” [90] He then elaborates this theme further, claiming: “the infecting principle of measles is contained in the blood…the matter of ophthalmia neonatorum contains undoubtedly a contagious principle…therefore, it is with respect to these and similar matters only that the isopathic principle can be applied, for they alone are capable of inducing in the healthy the disease to which they owe their origin.” [91] This was a dangerous strategy is open to criticism, because it is a deviation from the mainstream homeopathic principles.

By implying that only toxic, infectious or contagious materials can yield nosodes [remedies], this clearly denotes an abandonment of the usual homeopathic essentialism in his thinking, a bacterial thread almost, bearing in mind it was written some 40 years before the true Germ Theory itself had appeared in the modern form. Though many nosodes were not proven, yet their empirical use as useful adjuncts and intercurrent remedies, conferred upon them some credibility and validity, to reinforce their regular use by growing numbers of respected homeopaths. To transcendental homeopaths, nosodes like Carcinosin and Tuberculinum, for example, are valid remedies, not because they contain any poison, virus or contagious matter of a chemical nature, as Dudgeon demands, but because they are imbued with the ‘secret essence’ of cancer and TB, being made from diseased tissue. Similarly with remedies like Sol, Luna or X-ray, because the lactose has been exposed to and captured the essence of sunshine, moonlight or X-rays: “imponderabilia [like] electricity and the X-ray are both capable of potentisation;” [92] “A drachm vial filled with absolute alcohol was exposed to a Crook’s tube in operation for half an hour, and then brought up to the sixth centesimal potency;” [93] “Lyssin, or Hydrophobinum; saliva of a rabid dog…introduced and proved by Hering in 1833, fifty years before the crude experiments of Pasteur with the serum;” [94] “Electricitas…the potencies were prepared from milk sugar which has been saturated with the current.” [95] The point is that diseased tissue contains the ‘essence’ of that disease, its fundamental but invisible disease-creating force.

This is an essentialist point of view inherent to homeopathy, and has nothing to do with any alleged ‘contagious principle’ of Dudgeon. The use of nosodes was not based upon ‘belief’, supposition or superstition, even though Dudgeon suggests that “these isopathic preparations seem to accommodate themselves remarkably to the pathological views of those who administer them,” [96] which seems an astonishing claim for a homeopath to make. Their use was always supported by and grounded in clinical experience. [97]

What he also seems to be saying, when viewed at the deeper level, is that since no symptoms can theoretically derive from non-contagious material, therefore no cures can devolve from them either. In other words, all provings [and implicitly, all cures] must involve the use of ‘toxic’ [symptom-producing] material. In this sense, he denies any natural sympathy that might pertain between a drug and its effects, which is today seen as essential, innate, or spiritual, and which Dudgeon insists must be solely actual, physical, chemically detectable and pathogenic. Like Simpson saying that “no poison in the billionth or decillionth…would in the least degree affect a man or harm a fly.” [98] Such reads like the outright demolition of a core homeopathic principle and its replacement with a very material and literal reading of a fundamentally allopathic principle. He therefore also denies any mere phenomenological resonance that might adhere between a remedy and its symptoms: “the artificial illness that proving initiates…alters inner states which are apprehended initially through changed sensations, images, feelings, dreams and the production of outer symptoms,” [99]

A more modern example, “In February 1998 we initiated a proving of positronium…made at the particle accelerator…ethanol in a vial was exposed to the radiation of decaying positronium – approximately 1,000,000,000 annihilation events being captured over a 24 hour period. This was run up to the thirtieth…[which] was the proving potency.” [100] In contrast to Dudgeon’s claims, such matters prove that symptoms can be induced by higher potencies. He implicitly seems to deny the spiritual [essentialist] aspect inherent to the homeopathy of Hahnemann himself: “the homeopath…evokes by triturations, succussion, etc, his ‘spiritual’ powers, principles, or influences, out of material bodies, as house-salt, charcoal, oyster shells, etc.” [101] Dudgeon conveniently ignores Hahnemann’s basic finding that many otherwise medicinally inert substances can be converted into remedies by potentisation.

Following, in his creation of homeopathy, the maxim of “everything that can hurt is something that can heal,” [102] though Hahnemann was mindful of the nature of poisonings, [103] for the same reason Shakespeare once observed: “in the infant rind of this small flower, poison hath residence and medicine power,” [104] and although it is self-evident that “drugs, in crude form…[do] have the power to make even well people sick,” [105] yet this line of argument ignores the more subtle dimension of sickness, and those “agents, material or immaterial, which modify disease.” [106] For example, what really in modern parlance, is a dream proving [107] or a 10M potency? Or, what is the vital force? Because such nebulosities cannot be expressed in the familiar materialist language of modern science, they seem somewhat ineffable, in the last analysis, being taken on trust, as “idealised entities,” [108]; so the idea of contagion becomes in truth a complex subject – “he caught the disease and catches the cure.” [109] We do not see “disease itself any more than we see life, mind or thought.” [110] Conveniently sidestepping such deeper, and genuinely substantial issues, Dudgeon merely denounces nosodes on reflex as unproven, and therefore as illegitimate, additions to the materia medica, which, as an argument, is a curate’s egg – only good in parts. Lord knows what he would have made of modern remedies like Berlin Wall, [111] Luna [112] or Venus! [113] Can such remedies be presumed to contain any ‘infecting principle’ as his view demands? Presumably not. More enlightened homeopaths realised what Dudgeon had blinded himself to: “the homeopath does not consider it essential that its bacilli be seen in the atom of diseased material which he prepares for medicinal use.” [114] As a modern master practitioner also puts it: “the material of the nosodes is much more than the micro-organisms involved.” [115]

A Luminous and Pivotal Example

When Dudgeon states that “there cannot theoretically be a more appropriate stimulant than the very agent capable of producing the same state, given in regulated doses,” [116] then this could be the nosode, or it could be the most similar drug [similimum], depending upon the case in hand. Dudgeon is right in saying that the basis of Similia involves “the curative process in admitting the possibility of cure by an agent capable of producing the same disease.” [117] He therefore does admit some uses for nosodes. For example, “I find a good many cases of measles which apparently recovered very quickly under the use of morbilline,” [118]; “varioline in…cases of smallpox…[having a] decidedly beneficial influence exerted by the remedy on the course of the disease,” [119]; but he insists that “isopathic agents should, in my opinion, be strictly limited to really infectious morbid products.” [120] His views on contagion seem peculiar to modern ears – “contagion by means of clothes…and often by the mere emanations from the patient.” [121] The entire concept of contagion is philosophically both more ancient and more complex and more subtle than Dudgeon pretends. Right down to the time of Sydenham [1624-89], it was always rooted in a form of ‘spiritual invasion’ [Pagel, Temkin]. It is probably his deceivingly literal and allopathic interpretation of homeopathy, which blinded Dudgeon to these deeper subtleties.

Having difficulty in his attempts to find any valid intellectual means to denounce transcendentalism, and being unable to state why he would impose limits upon the use of remedies or miasms, his condemnations lack focus and failed to attract any followers; he failed to supply a coherent rationale to justify his prejudices. He clutches desperately at rules and certainties that turn out to be only ‘castles made of smoke’. Dudgeon only permits entry into the realm of ‘the real’ and ‘the approved’, those provings and cures obtained by using contagious or toxic material. This would logically invoke a corollary that only material doses can induce symptoms in the healthy and that only material and sub-material doses can elicit cures: “the dynamic potentised drug is the chief factor in both proving and healing;” [122]

As a 3xer, one can see where he is fixated, but since the 1850s homeopathy has moved forward a great deal. The reality of the high potencies [higher than 6x] is not just the reality of cures obtained with fantastically high potencies [30c to CM], but also includes the reality of symptoms being induced in people with high potencies, [123] – “the dynamic potentised drug is the chief factor in both proving and healing” [124] – not to mention more recent things like dream provings. [125] When Close [1860-1929] mildly suggests that “the whole scale of potencies from the lowest to the highest is open to the homeopathic physician,” [126] such would seem an outrageously heretical suggestion to the likes of Dudgeon, who is impatient to dismiss any spiritual link between remedy and patient and most unwilling to adopt higher potencies, purely on the basis of disbelief and trepidation. He clearly felt that this would disastrously lead homeopathy over some disreputable Niagara Falls straight into some airy-fairy ‘anything goes’ policy, much to the delight and furious applause of allopaths everywhere.

It is clear, that there exists a real province within homeopathy that embraces the nebulous, but it is a province lying entirely beyond the conceptual grasp of someone like Dudgeon; a realm he dare not enter lest “the wheel be broken at the well.” [127] Yet, another desire to negotiate and retain a prestigious relationship with orthodoxy, spawned a polarisation of the movement into those who were attracted by the nebulous in homeopathy and those others who were repelled by nebulosities. Yet, in terms both of ideas and technique, this polarity already existed even in the Organon and, as we shall see, even in Hahnemann himself. It certainly existed in German homeopathy, with its many rebels and dissenters from the official doctrine.

For all the reasons thusfar explored, Dudgeon is clearly a quite luminous and pivotal example of an articulate but conservative homeopathic “old guard”[128], who at best could only grasp Hahnemann’s teachings in a crudely allopathic fashion; an ‘old guard’ who controlled UK homeopathy at that time and were manifestly sceptical of high potencies and nosodes, and very resistant to change. [129] Like Hughes, Dudgeon wished to root homeopathy solely within the framework of an allopathic patter, in terms of familiar and more trusted concepts like ‘diseases’ and ‘remedies’. Much later, in the 1890s, homeopathy in the UK then took a sharp turn towards American transcendentalism. [130] This inspired an expansion of homeopathy both at the theoretical and practical levels, to embrace the full reality of miasms, higher potencies, spiritual ideas about remedies, and, more recently, dream provings, essences, mentality and disposition as the dominant factors or ‘core concepts’ and more miasms, not only the original three, but also tubercular and cancer miasms, as new offshoots of Psora. [131] Homeopathy today has expanded when compared to the rather narrow, rigid, and limited view of early Hahnemannian homeopathy. Yet, both lineages in modern homeopathy can be traced back to Hahnemann, not just the more conservative or allopathic version preferred by Dudgeon. It has expanded beyond all rules and limits, which any ‘insiders’ have sought to impose upon it, so great has been its growth.

Robert E. Dudgeon (1820-1904)

According to Dudgeon, the whole isopathic “affair finds but little favour in Hahnemann’s eyes,” [132] and therefore, by implication, it is safe to condemn it both as un-homeopathic and as nonsense! He depicts it as a medical darkness, a crooked path to be avoided. Yet, Dudgeon is wrong. As usual, Hahnemann was not disapproving, as Dudgeon claims, he was ambivalent. He saw some uses for nosodes and miasms, but also some problems. Likewise with the higher potencies. He went so far with these concepts and methods, but only so far; he stopped short of some of the others in embracing them. He did not fully embrace isopathy; he partially embraced it. His was a mixed response. The ‘highs vs. lows struggle’ dominated not only American [133] and British homeopathy in the last quarter of the 19th century; it was a widespread division much before that. Having seeds in the Organon; it is inherent to early homeopathy in Germany, and indeed had roots in Hahnemann himself.

This radical new isopathic and transcendental homeopathic conception, or ‘agent of change’, which originated about the time of the publication of Chronic Diseases in 1828, [134] soon spawned a new movement within homeopathy, a dangerous and frightening sub-sect [to people like Dudgeon], gathering to its cause a motley but energetic crew of rebels, dissenters and freethinkers. It immediately gained support from those who indulged a taste for the higher potencies, like Korsakoff [1788-1853], Boenninghausen [1785-1864], Stapf [1788-1860], and Griesselich [1804-48],. Such pioneers were then followed up by Hering, Allen [1830-1909], Skinner [1825-1906], Berridge [1844-1920], Burnett [1840-1901], Clarke [1853-1931], Kent [1849-1916], and Weir [1879-1971]. [135]

P. W. L. Griesslich (1804-1948)

This transcendental ‘virus’ spread insidiously throughout American homeopathy, with its strongly metaphysical inclinations, and then began to infect small groups in British homeopathy by about 1870. “Kent [placed great]…emphasis upon mental symptoms and the use of high potencies. They first appeared [in Britain] when Dr Octavia Lewin presented a paper…in 1903…Dudgeon, who was present at the meeting, raged against the whole idea.” [136] The cases were treated with 1M, 81M and CM potencies and “Dr Clarke congratulated Lewin on the courage she had manifested in treating them with single doses.,” [137] At the meeting Dr Dudgeon, clearly outraged, “spoke out against the use of high dilutions and quoted…’quod fieri potest per pauca, non debet fieri per pauca’…if we can get by with few dilutions, we ought not to employ many.” [138] In fact, to correct Leary, the Kentian influence had twice visited Britain before, via Drs Skinner and Berridge in 1870s Liverpool, and via Gibson Miller in 1880s Glasgow. [139] In any case, Dudgeon was ejected from the meeting. [140]

Dudgeon and Close On Disease and Cure

When we come to compare Dudgeon [1853] to Close [1924], for example, then the differences between them become very pronounced and we can measure what progress had been made. After 1900, we behold an expansive and unstoppable movement of transcendentalism, shamelessly declaring the power of high potencies and the use of nosodes in even the most serious conditions, and sweeping all before it. While for most of the 19th century, conservative British homeopaths prescribed remedies “in low potency, usually 1x or 3x, but mother tinctures were used regularly,” [141] yet “by 1910 there was a complete change from the prescription of 90% material doses to 70% or more of high potencies.” [142] Therefore, Dudgeon was wrong when he claimed isopathy to be neither “consistent with theoretic probability,” [143] nor “borne out by experience.” [144] His claim that there were “no arguments having the slightest claim to validity brought forward in its support,” [145] and no facts to substantiate it, seems like a very blinkered view. In fact, by the 1870s an abundance of evidence was in existence to underpin this burgeoning movement, and a significant rationale was supplied by Hahnemann’s acute and chronic miasms. [146]

On a theoretical level, the use of high potencies and nosodes certainly acts to confirm and underscore the essentialist ideas of transcendental homeopathy and therefore became important emblems of its sense of identity, which are strongly preferred to the materialist, bacterial and physiological constructs of allopathy. Homeopathy has always had to struggle to demarcate and police its own borders, and to retain a distinctive sense of medical and philosophical identity that separates it from the politically dominant and more powerful allopathic medicine. Even though the movement was now in decline, and entering what was to be a seventy year period of stagnation, nevertheless, it was henceforth to be ‘pure homeopathy’ or nothing.

When Dudgeon also complains that “the disgusting character of many of the preparations introduced into our materia medica by the isopathists has been particularly held up to public condemnation by our adversaries,” [147] such a view seems only relevant to those stuck in the past and terrified of progress. They were only ‘disgusting’ in their origin, before potentisation had rendered them as safe as baby’s milk. Indeed, it ethically behoves any physician to explore any means of curative treatment: “the homeopaths…have not hesitated to explore filth, decay, and disease for morbific products or nosodes. Diseased material from animals and plants, and the poisonous secretions of reptiles, fishes, and insects, are found to be indispensably curative in desperate or obscure diseases.” [148] Dudgeon can again be seen evading his real problems concerning the prestige and social standing of homeopaths. As Dr Burnett himself once bitterly put it: “the social value of [surgery] is a baronetcy. The social value of [homeopathic remedies] is slander and contempt.” [149]

Compared to Dudgeon’s view, Close states that “the gross, tangible, lesions and products in which disease ultimates are not the primary object of the homeopathic prescription.” [150] Close goes right to the heart of the matter in stating that it is not symptoms that need correction, but function. “Function creates the organs…function reveals the condition of the organs,” [151] and he further reveals that “the totality of the functional symptoms of the patient is the disease.” [152] This somewhat flies in the face of the Hughes/Dudgeon claim that disease is a localised affair, a material affair that must be treated with material doses – tinctures, 1x and 3x. But, seizing his quarry firmly, Close deepens the real focus of homeopathy not upon the tissues, but into “the realm of pure dynamics;” [153] what he calls the “sphere of homeopathy is limited primarily to the functional changes from which the phenomena of disease arise.” [154]

Manifestly, after 1880 or so, homeopathy had become increasingly concerned with ‘essence’ or the deeper and invisible ‘genotype’ of disease, rather than with phenotype [the visible]; with causes rather than with effects. Such a shift clearly reflects the transcendental focus and essentialist nature of this later form of homeopathy – a far subtler and more sophisticated system than its crudely allopathic predecessor, so beloved of the ‘amphibians’. When Close speaks of “the morbid vital processes,” [155] and that any pathological changes and “physical effects of mechanical causes, are not primarily within the domain of Similia, and therefore are not the object of homeopathic treatment,” [156] he means to emphasise to all homeopaths that true homeopathy aims not to directly remove Dudgeon’s external ‘phenotype’ of disease, in the tissues, but to remove its root cause, its internal ‘genotype’ – the fount from which all symptoms spring. “In faithful treatment, it is sought to accomplish an end far more subtle than the mechanical removal of bacilli…” [157] Symptoms were not seen by homeopaths as the disease, but as the results, the end-products, of deeper dynamic disease processes: “tissue changes…are but the results of disease;” [158] “a cure is not a cure unless it destroys the internal or dynamic cause of disease.” [159]

When Close states that the “real cure…takes place solely in the functional and dynamical sphere,” [160] we can see that his emphasis has shifted away from any visible pathology resident in the organs, tissues and cells, to the underlying vital and dynamic processes that underpin and derange the cells and tissues. It has moved away from the physical body per se to the vital force, the mind and spirit, disposition, modalities and peculiar symptoms of the patient; from the visible realm of germ and cell, to the hidden, archetypal and miasmic realm; from effects to causes; from matter to spirit [essence]; from phenotype to genotype. The focus has shifted to those dynamic forces that lie behind and direct tissue processes and tissue changes.

Even in the perception of remedies and diseases, the whole focus and emphasis has subtly shifted from the gross and physical to the mental, emotional, and dispositional factors of the proving, of the remedy and of the patient [disease]. This becomes even more clearly visible in the work of modern figures like Sankaran, Scholten, Vithoulkas, Eizayaga and Candegabe. [161] The “homoeopathic gaze,” [162] no longer falls so much upon the ‘disease’, the symptoms or the condition, but much more upon the mentality and disposition, constitution, layers, essence, which distinguish the remedy or case in its uniqueness. Uniqueness and individuality being the true realm of Similia: “homeopathy considers the single patient as indivisible and unique,” [163] recognising “health as a dynamic equilibrium,” [164] of invisible forces ultimately under the control of the vital force. Previous talk of conditions and diseases, henceforth becomes muted by that in favour of the highly individualised nature of cases and patients and the mental symptoms of the case and the remedy – what Vithoulkas and Sankaran would call the ‘essence states’, and what Eizayaga calls the ‘genotype.’ [165]

S. M. Close (1860-1929)

Close validates this view by tracing it back to its true source when he maintains that “Hahnemann introduces us into the realm of dynamics, the science…of motion. In medicine dynamical commonly refers to functional as opposed to organic disease.” [166] Power, Close insists, does not reside in the body, in the tissues or the cells themselves, it “resides at the centre;” [167] disease “is the suffering of the dynamis.” [168] Close devotes considerable energy to clearly defining disease; an effort which repays close study. For example, he says that “homeopathy does not treat disease; it treats patients.” [169] Disease, he claims, is “an abnormal vital process;” [170] “a dynamic aberration of our spirit-like life;” [171] “a perverted vital action;” [172] it is “not a thing, but only the condition of a thing;” [173] that in the last analysis disease is “primarily only an altered state of life and mind.” [174] This is akin to Kent’s likening of cure to a qualitative re-tuning of a piano, [175] and is all a very far cry from using remedies in material doses [1x or 3x] for named conditions.

Close lays bare its deeper nature when he says disease is “primarily a morbid disturbance or disorderly action of the vital powers and functions,” [176] or “purely a dynamical disturbance of the vital principle.” [177] Furthermore, he logically pronounces that because “disease is always primarily a morbid dynamical or functional disturbance of the vital principle,” [178] so in turn it is clear that “functional or dynamic change always precedes tissue changes,” [179] and that cure has been established only “when every perceptible sign of suffering of the dynamis has been removed.” [180] For Close, it is precisely upon such reasons and definitions that “the entire edifice of therapeutic medication governed by the law of Similia,” [181] has been conceived and constructed. All these insightful statements elaborated by Close might be said to derive from Kent, but, as he insists, they also flow naturally from Hahnemann’s own sentiments in the Organon: [182] “let it be granted now…that no disease…is caused by any material substance, but that every one is only and always a peculiar, virtual, dynamic derangement of the health.” [183]

Close very emphatically places his bets not upon a condition or disease label, or in Dudgeon’s beloved cells and tissues, or material doses of drugs, but firmly in the invisible sphere of causes – the vital force and the potentised drug. When he says, “the tumor is not the disease, but only the ‘end product’ of the disease,” [184] he means to show that disease is a process of change within the organism, directed, not by itself, not under its own power in the cells, but by the power of a deranged vital force that impinges upon and coordinates the cellular processes. Such is certainly a view of disease as a “dynamic derangement of the life force,” [185] more as derangement of process, rather than derangement of structure. The remedy for these sickness processes is equally dynamic and nebulous – the potentised drug – which gives rise to the comment by Kent: “lower potency…less fine and less interior than the higher,” [186] meaning the higher the potency, the deeper it penetrates into the hidden realm of disease causes.

For Close, then, ipso facto, homeopathy sees as its mission to un-derange the vital force, which is precisely what he claims its remedies do. All of this is expressed in words that Kent would also have chosen. Close, one might say, treads perfectly within the ‘verbal footprints’ of Kent himself, who in turn we might say follows closely Allen, Hering, and Boenninghausen. They all speak with one voice, even though their voices span ten decades.

“That which we call disease, is but a change in the Vital Force expressed by the totality of the symptoms.”

About homeopathyginatyler

Classical Homeopath, Certified CEASE practicioner Los Angeles,Calif,USA www.ginatyler.com View all posts by homeopathyginatyler

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