BASIC PRINCIPLES OF HOMOEOPATHY by GUSTAVUS A. ALMFELT, M.D
The primary object of this course of lessons was to better acquaint the members of the Homoeopathic Laymen’s League of New York with the basic principles on which the homoeopathic school of medicine was founded.
However, as these Principles cannot well be understood and appreciated without some knowledge of the finer forces in nature, the author thought it advisable to add a preliminary review study of the general principles and laws operative in nature, including a short study of life and man; hence this course became more comprehensive than originally was intended.
Life and man may seem mysterious and a difficult problem to solve when studied purely from a biological or chemical or physical standpoint; but they are not only intensely interesting but also understandable when studied from the aspect of being an intelligent and perfect manifestation of the creative activity of the infinite creative principle of the universe or- God.
The average person, even an educated one knows very little about himself and his relation to nature and to the laws which govern his body in health and in sickness, hence he becomes frightened and confused when ill and does not know what to do. In his search for advice and relief he naturally turns to those possessing special education and training in the treatment and care of the sick. Due to the fact that no two people are exactly alike in biochemical constitutions, in temperament, or in physical and mental development and thinking, it is natural that each person turns to the systems of medicine or treatment he thinks best suited to his individual need. To meet this demand various schools of medicine and systems of physical and metaphysical treatment have grown up amongst us; and so we have medicinal, physical and metaphysical schools and systems of treatment. All of these may be useful within their own sphere of activity, and all have merits and some cures to their credit but so many failures; hence none has the right to dominate the entire field of healing and say; “I, alone am right, theorist of you are all wrong and have no right to treat and care for sick people.”
Applying the American democratic principles of freedom in pursuit of health and happiness to this subject, it follows that no school of medicine or healing should have the exclusive right to dominate4e the entire field of therapeutics, particularly a none of them is infallible.
They all should have thee right to develop themselves along the lines of their own basic principles and methods of treatment, providing these principles are based on laws in nature and not antagonistic to the physical, psychological and psychological welfare of the human being, and meet the needs of the various groups of patients and variety of disease manifestations of the body and mind of man.
In the field of medicinal therapeutics thee Homoeopathic school of medicine fills an important and unique place that cannot well be supplanted by any other system of medicine of treatment. Unfortunately a state of lamentable ignorance and misinformation exists about this unexcelled system of medicine. Most people think of it as a weak or mild harmless medicine without any medicinal power of ability to relieve pain or to cure illness and disease.
Even the physicians and followers of the homoeopathic school know little about its fundamental basic principles and do less in explaining them to the public. For this reason much logic information and sound relational instructions are needed to bring the basic principles of this grand and benevolent system of medicine to the attention of suffering humanity.
These lessons represent an unpretentious effort in this direction. They are not perfect or complete: much more could have been said or added to them, but they are sound in principle and logic. The author has not followed a beaten path or depended on quotations from books and authors in his instructing and reasoning and many of the answers and definitions may not comply with popular scientific conceptions of some of these matters. His main object has been to make the subject simple and understandable for the average layman and yet retrain the fundamental principles of the subject he is teaching. The author does not think it necessary for a teacher or a writer to follow a beaten path or to use the same expressions and phrases that others have used in studying and discussing a subject along as he has a rational conception of the fundamental principles of the subject, has a sound base for his reasoning and uses correct logic.
In man’s attempt to understand himself, his relation to nature and phenomenon of life he has made many mistakes even so- called scientific ones. This is excusable as long as he admits his mistakes and is willing to profit by them. Man’s reasoning is not infallible, he is only a student; and physical science represents only the conclusion of repeatedly observed phenomena under similar conditions, hence the chances are that the conclusions may be incorrect and misleading. What we call science today may have to be revised tomorrow. For this reason no school of science or group of men have the right to assume absolute authority and control in matters pertaining to life and the laws which govern man and his relation to nature in health and in sickness. The only authority in this field of study and practice should be the great universal laws of nature; and so far man has only a fragmentary knowledge of the nature and operation of these laws. For the sake of brevity and clearness of statement, the author has employed the question and answer method in this course of lessons.
Physical matter and energy. Planes of matter, and the finer forces in nature.
Life energies, and the conversion of inorganic matter into living vegetable cells, tissues and structures.
What is the most important thought to bear in mind when studying Nature and its finer energies and forces?
The important thought to bear in mind is that the entire universe is one great immense unit originating from one source, that of primary energy of the “primordial substance”, dominated by a constructive and benevolent creative principle and governed by harmonious immutable laws. There is only one source, one power, one purpose and one unit: but this immense unit is split up into innumerable smaller compact and independent units: all bound together by thee same principles, that of manifesting the supreme, creative activity of the infinite creative principle of thee universe.
How do these principles affect our study of nature and its laws in relation to man and life?
Very profoundly. Every activity and phenomenon on earth is governed by the same principles and laws, including that of man and life. All our sciences, whether physical, medical, mental or psychological, must be governed by these universal principles, otherwise they will be of no benefit to man and serve no useful purpose.
What is physical matter?
Physical matter is basically primary energy in a state of condensation or a gradual consolidation, in which the vibratory activity has been gradually lowered until the substance becomes condensed and reaches the physical plane of consistency.
What is primary energy?
Primary energy is that infinitely fine vibrating ever-active scintillating primordial substance filling all space, out of which and from which all was made that is made or created.
What is the conceivable “modus operandi” used in converting primary energy into physical matter.
The projection of a creative impulse into primary energy bearing a definite image of the size, shape and consistency of a physical body will slowly and gradually change the vibratory activity in primary energy until it reaches the consistency of ether; and by continuing the image projection into the realm of ether the protons and electrons take shape. From these the atoms are formed, the atoms form into molecules, and the molecules into physical compounds and bodies. The explanation is theoretically correct from the standpoint of the creative aspect; but man in his present state of evolution and unfoldment may not be able to produce physical matter by projecting a thought bearing the shape and form of a solid body into primary energy.
In matter fixed, stable and unchangeable?
Matter is apparently stable and fixed, but it is subject to the action of external and internal forces and can be broken up and apparently destroyed. From these elements and remnants new and different shapes, consistencies, compounds and bodies are formed, hence matter is not stable or fixed.
How many planes or states of matter are there on earth?
Three, the mineral or inorganic, the vegetable and the animal planes. These are also called the three kingdoms of matter, the inorganic, thee vegetable and the animal kingdoms.
What is the basic plane of physical matter?
The basic plane is the inorganic or the mineral kingdom, a state in which no life activity is present.
In what forms does matter exist on the inorganic plane? In the forms of gases, liquids and solids.
What are the finer forces or energies in nature?
The finer forces of energies in nature are basically primary energy set in motion by creative impulses for definite purposes and activities on the various planes of matter; they may vary in nature and quality according to thee character of the impulse that set them in motion and the purpose they serve.
Name some of the finer forces.
Electrical, chemical and physical forces or energies. These are active forces that change, break up and form new combinations on the inorganic plane of matter.
What other known energies or forces are active in nature?
The life energies or life forces.
What are the life energies or life forces?
The life energies or forces are specialized rays of primary energy provided by the Creator for the purpose of creating and maintaining life in physical matter. This earth would be of no purpose were there no life activity on it, hence the great Creator of the world designated some rays of primary energy for this purpose and into these rays he injected the impulse of life or the “Spark of Life”; these rays of primary energy have the power to convert inorganic matter into living organic cells, tissues and structures. We know that manifestation of life on earth, whether in the vegetable or animal or human kingdoms, is not electrical or chemical or physical or biological activities alone, but something more and infinitely finer and more delicate in its activity, hence we are justified to call these energies the life forces.
What energies or forces change the forms of physical matter on the inorganic plane?
Electrical, chemical and physical energies. These break up existing combinations and out of the elements form new compounds, formations and bodies.
What is physical force?
Physical force is a power produced by matter in motion, and thee quality and power of the force is governed by the quantity of matter and speed of the motion.
What is physical energy?
Physical energy is a power produced by physical matter and liberated by breaking up or destroying the body or the compound holding it in bondage like dynamite, etc. It may also be generated within a body or a compound by forcing a stronger energy into the body,or compound in question. Basically all energy is derived from primary energy, but physical energy may change in nature and character, depending upon the nature of the force which liberated the latent energy from the physical compound or the body. For this reason there are many manifestations of energy or power, some benevolent and constructive and some harmful and destructive.
Is energy inherent in all physical matter?
Yes, as all matter is derived from primary energy it is self- evident that all matter contains latent energy.
What is the nature of physical energy?
The nature and consistency of physical energy is similar to that of primary energy. It is an infinity fine, vibrating and ever-moving force. Its movements are expressed in the so-called vibratory or Brownian movements.
What is organic matter or the vegetable kingdom?
Organic matter is a state in which the chemical combination of the inorganic elements have been broken up, changed and transmuted into living and growing organic cells, tissues and structures.
What power or energy changes or transmutes inorganic matter into organic living vegetable cells and tissues?
The vegetable life force or life energy.
What is the nature of the vegetable life force or life energy?
We have answered this matter in a previous question, but may add that vegetable life energy is only one ray of the great universal life energy. It can only transmute inorganic chemical elements into vegetable matter but cannot create animal or human bodies.
How does the vegetable life energy create and build living vegetable structures?
The vegetable life energy, assisted by the heat of the sun rays, converts the gases in the air and the minerals in the earth into vegetable cells, tissues and structures. This process can be called a transmuting function as it takes thee inorganic elements and out of these makes beautiful flowers, plants, fruits and all the great variety of organic life found in the vegetable kingdom.
Can this process of transmuting inorganic physical elements into living organic structures bee described?
Yes, in a general way. As we stated before the life energy assisted by the heat of the sun rays, or even infra-red heat, converts the carbon gas in the air into sugars, starches and other organic elements. The hydrogen gas combines with oxygen gas forming water, which is used as a vehicle for carrying on the function of life in the plant cells, but water does not actually become a part of the cells. The oxygen gas operates in vegetable life mostly as a purifier or destroyer of dead organic matter and toxins, but is not built into the cell structure of the plant. The main function of oxygen in nature is keep living organic bodies clean and free from dead organic matter and poisons, hence it plays a very important part in the living kingdom of matter, both in the vegetable and in the animal. The nitrogen gas from which hard cellular tissues are formed has little affinity for other gases in the air, hence before it can be built into vegetable tissues it first unites with ammonia and as ammonia compounds absorbed into the earth. From the earth the plant life draws it up and build it into its dense cells and structures. The minerals in the earth are absorbed in a similar manner by the growing plant where they are broken up and transmuted into living cells and tissues.
What inorganic elements are used into construction of the vegetable kingdom?
Sixteen, the four gases of the air and the twelve minerals from thee earth. The gases are carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen. The minerals are calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, chlorine, sodium, magnesia, iron, iodine, fluorine, silicon and manganese. To these some recent biochemists have added one or two more minerals but the above twelve are the main ones.
What is colloidal state of matter?
The colloidal state of matter implies that inorganic or mineral matter has been broken up and crushed until it is reduced to a condition of microscopical size.
Is colloidal matter inorganic or organic?
Colloidal matter is inorganic, although it has been broken up and reduced to such a fine substance that it is very close to the organic line, but there is no life activity in it, hence it is inorganic.
What is understood by electro-magnetic force?
The strata of ether is basically electro magnetic. In fact all electric energy originates in this field; and when two inorganic bodies of the opposite pole of magnetic energy meet, a new quality of electrical energy is generated which is called electro magnetic force. This force has the power to attract and impregnate inorganic metallic bodies with electro magnetic energy and may exert a great force on other metallic bodies if thee magnets are of sufficient size.
What relation has the electro-magnetic force to the life energy?
None, except that the vegetable life energy in its process of creating and maintaining life in physical matter may make use of electro magnetic energy and other physical energies and forces in its operation of building and maintaining l;life in matter.
What forces in nature break down dead organic matter and return it to its primary or inorganic state?
Two, oxygen and bacteria. Oxygen burns up all organic matter containing carbon and during pressure of beat will burn up or destroy other dead organic matter and even living bodies. Bacteria eats up or consume all forms of dead organic matters and bodies where ever it may be found, either in thee earth, on the earth, in thee air, in or on the living body. It is the function of bacteria to break down or convert dead useless substances and bodies into their primary inorganic gases and other elements.
2. Health and disease, drugs and medicine, and their relation to the body in health and sickness.
What is health?
Health is a state of being in which every cell, every tissue, every organ and part of the body performs its function normally, harmoniously and so smoothly that he consciousness is not aware of organs and parts; thoughts and ideas flow freely and the reasoning is clear and logical: the emotions react normally and rationally to the environment and to life as a whole; and the entire being vibrates vitality, harmony and charm.
What is vitality?
Vitality is a state of being in which the life force permeates every cell, every tissue and organ of the body freely and uninterruptedly until the entire being is charged with life power and radiates strength, poise and health.
What is human magnetism?
Magnetism is harmonious and vital emanation from the body, the product of a harmonious undisturbed activity of the life force in the healthy body. It is stored up mainly in the nerve plexuses of the sympathetic nervous system and the endoctrine glands of the body. From these centres it radiates to every cell and every part of the being, imparting energy and vitality to the body. A highly magnetic person is radiant with life, energy and health and has the power to attract and to please.
Is thee human being basically healthy?
Yes, providing he was born of parents free from marked traces of chronic miasms. The human being was designed and construct in such a perfect and wonderful manner that he can remain well and healthy without interruption by ill health or disease during a long and active life.
If this is true why does men become ill and diseased?
Because so far the average person, even an educated one, knows very little about himself, the construction and needs of the body and the laws which govern a normal healthy life on earth. Because of this ignorance he violates practically every law of normal healthful living. He knows very little about the food he eats and the relation it has to the welfare and health of the body; he dissipates in eating, drinking and smoking, and his emotional adjustment to environments and problems of a complex civilization are usually wrong and cause disturbances of the normal functioning of the body. For this ignorance and violation of laws he pays a heavy price in ill health, pain,suffering, misery and early death. Oh, yes, I knew we claim to have increased the span of life, but that is not much compared to what we can and will do when we have learned to consider man and life our most important study and when we are willing to live in accordance with the laws which govern human welfare and life on earth.
What is ill health or disease?
Any deviation from the foregoing standard of health is ill health or health out of balance. Ill health consist primarily in a change or alteration or disturbance of the normal functional activity of an organ or organs or part of the body. The normal functions may be either increased, decreased or disrupted entirely, depending on the nature of the cause or the irritant. This condition is usually expressed in signs and symptoms; of those the signs or objective symptoms can bee seen or detected, while the subjective ones are felt by the patient, and may consist of pain or a sensation of discomfort or dysfunctioning of an organ or any part of the body.
What is the primary cause of ill health and disease?
Physical irritants and disturbed emotions.
What physical irritants cause disease?
Any irritant, either internal or external, strong enough to interfere with, change, alter, or disrupt thee normal functional activity of thee body.
What is the nature of such irritants?
The nature of these irritants is either toxins, drug poisons or physical forces. For convenience they may be classified into several groups:
First, accidental trauma and industrial injuries.
Second, deficiency in food, particularly deficiency in minerals and vitamins, with defective eliminating functions.
Third, toxins and poisons, these include:
A- autotoxemias, due to deficient oxidation of metabolic by- products in the blood and the retention of food residues in the large intestines.
B- parasitic and bacterial toxins, generated and retained in the body.
C- drugs and medicinal irritants, including pain killers, harsh laxatives, alcohol, tobacco, etc.
How can human emotions cause ill health and disease?
By interfering with or disrupting the normal functional activity of the body.
How do emotions operate in thee body?
Through and over the sympathetic or automatic nervous system. Every cell, every tissue every organ, and every part of thee body is connected with other cells, tissues and organs through a complex nervous system. The sympathetic or automatic system is one branch of this grand system of nerve fibers, cells and plexuses. All thoughts and sensations are transmitted to the consciousness over and through the cerebrospinal system, but emotions conducted to the consciousness over thee sympathetic nervous system, and the nature of the emotion determines the effect it has on the body, either constructive or destructive.
Which emotions are constructive and which destructive?
Such emotions as love, faith,happiness, and good will are constructive and have a beneficial influence upon the harmonious functional activity of every cell, tissue and structure of the body. Emotions such as fear, worry, resentment, criticism, envy, anger, jealousy and hatred are destructive and interfere with thee normal functional activity of the body and may cause ill health and disease.
What is the main difference between ill health and disease?
The main difference is that ill health or sickness is a condition in which an irritant may cause a derangement of the normal functioning of an organ or apart of the body without any actual changes in the structure of the organ or the part affected. A disease, on thee other hand, is a condition in which actual changes take place in the cellular structure of the diseased part of the body, such as cancer, tuberculosis, arthritis, peptic or duodenal ulcer, etc. Hence the main difference is largely a matter of degrees; a person may feel ill and miserable and yet no disease can bee discovered or demonstrated even under very careful physical examination.
What is thee difference between acute and chronic disease?
An acute disease is one that comes on suddenly, runs a certain course and results in either restoration to health or in death. A chronic disease is in reality an uncured acute disease, or a condition in which irritating cause continues actively in the body, not strong enough to produce acute symptoms but it leaves the patient in a state of semi- invalidism.
What is an infectious disease?
An infectious disease is one in which the cause consists of a toxin or poison, usually bacterial toxins, generated within the body and absorbed into the blood stream. Thee reaction of the body to the poisons will cause increase in temperature, accelerated pulse and respiration, and m,any other symptoms depending upon the nature of the disease and the part of the body affected.
What is medicine?
Medicine is a substance supposed to contain an element or elements having a definite relation to the symptoms of a disease, either that of suppressing the symptoms or relieving or “curing” them.
By what mean does the body recognize the nature of the medicine taken?
By a reflex nerve action. Unless the medicine acts chemically its nature is not recognized by a reflex action of the various system. The sensory nerve endings within the mouth, stomach and intestines react the irritation of the substance taken and send a message over sensory nerves to nerve cells in the spine. These centres will recognize the nature of the medicine by the degree of its irritation and return a message over motor nerves to the organs and parts affected, and these will react to the medicine according to the degree of irritation sustained by the nerve centres. Food and neutral drinks cause a slight stimulation of the digestive glands in the alimentary tract which may bring on a feeling of satisfaction and general comfort but do not cause a marked reflex action on the part of the organs.
How do drugs and medicines act upon the body?
They act either chemically, psychologically or dynamically.
How do drugs and medicines act chemically?
Drugs and medicines act chemically when they cause chemical changes with in the cavities or tubes of thee body, or in the blood stream. This action may consist of changing the chemical content of the stomach or any other cavity from acid to alkaline or vice versa or it may act antiseptically on bacteria in the tubes of the body or in the blood stream. If the drug is very strong and irritating it may cause destruction of tissue and even death.
How do drugs and medicines act physiologically?
They act physiologically by causing a reflex nerve action within the body. In reality the drug does not act on the body but the body reacts to the drug taken. If the drug is only mildly irritating or so-called stimulating to the sensory nerve endings with in the stomach and intestines, the reaction will cause an increased functional activity of the organs or parts affected. This reaction is illustrated by that class of medicines called laxatives nd tonics. On the other hand, if the irritation is serve enough to partly inhabit the sensation to reach the nerve cells in the spine or the consciousness, the functional activity to the organ or parts affected will be decreased. Such drugs are usually called sedatives and taken to reduce overactive organs or to relieve pain, general nervousness,and to induce sleep. If the irritation to the sensory nerves is severe enough to prohibit all sensation to reach the consciousness, all conscious functional activity may be suspended. This class of drugs is called narcotics and anesthetics, and are employed when all conscious sensation and activity need to be suspended.