We are living in one of the most semantic periods in human history. Virtually every aspect of human life is undergoing drastic conceptual changes: science, ecology, arts, economy, technology, politics, even medicine.
The concept of man as a whole is fast replacing the previous view of the patient as a fragmented diagnostic entity (separated into parts, each carrying a specific ailment or diagnostic category). Patients cannot be viewed in fragments without violating fundamental and universal laws of nature. Each person is a unique individual, whole and complete, functioning as a totality in relation to the surrounding universe. Laws governing nature and the universe are not separate from those governing the functions of living organisms (1). There are dynamic balances which both individuals and the environment benefit from.
The human body is a dynamic structure constantly renewing itself through a continuous process of cell replacement; it is in constant motion, just to remain standing still. It never stops creating and destroying itself at the same time. Catabolism and anabolism balance each other out through constant activity. This also gives an insight into the incredible complexity of the human organism and the smoothly coordinated operation of its processes (2). This brings us to the definition of health.
For homeopaths, the state of health is that natural and dynamic attunement of the whole organism in a harmonious state of smoothly coordinated functioning and balance. Health is therefore defined as the status of the whole organism, the whole person, mind, body and spirit and not just the absence of sickness symptoms. In other words, the state of health in the physical body is in essence freedom from pain, having attained a state of wellbeing; freedom from passion, on the emotional level, resulting in a dynamic state of serenity and calm (the state of being capable of feeling freely the full range of human emotions without being enslaved by them from moment to moment); and freedom from selfishness in the mental sphere, having as a result, total unification with the divine or truth, enabling actions dedicated to creative service (3).
Homeopathy is a reliable medicinal practice through which a patient’s individual “system” can be set to a balanced order or homeostasis and thus on the road to recovery. Patients are seen as complete units encompassing mental, emotional and physical dimensions, all of which must form one well balanced whole. Furthermore the holistic approach of Homeopathy, in its essence, addresses crucially the heavy burden of hereditary tendencies.
Homeopathy can produce spectacular results. Some may go as far as to say it does wonders. And it can do so through its science and not through miracles! It works because it is based on simple but profoundly insightful and infallible natural Laws and Principles, the immutable pillars of our science. Laws and principles never die, but are essential truths, represented by or corresponding to the evident (4).
Definition of Science: Science is a body of laws or principles, body of truths or realities, area of study, exact knowledge of proximate causes or in other words, knowledge reduced to law and embodied in a system. Law, and not “Rule” is the word used, because laws are made by infallible Nature, whereas rules are made by fallible Human beings (5). A law is fundamental and the mere fact we may not recognize it, does not mean that the law does not exist. Even in man-made laws, which in a true sense are not laws, but rules laid down by man for man, it is recognized that ignorance cannot be an excuse (6).
In a more specific scientific sense, a law is the connecting link between two series of phenomena, which demonstrates their interrelation and needs to be in harmony with other known laws. Hence in homeopathy there exist the phenomena of remedies related to the phenomena of diseases by the law of mutual action, under the fixed principles of similarity, contrariety, proportionality and “infinitesimality” (7). Consequently, since Homeopathy conforms to every requirement of these general, authoritative definitions of science; it is indisputable that it is a science.
Fixed principles and laws never fail, and as mentioned above, never change, and that is taken as the principle authority. These are like sign posts that guide homeopaths through a maize without which they would be lost and forever changing direction. Unfortunately there are many practicing homeopathy without having mastered the principal authority and that invariably leads to failure. Experience has a role in science, but only by way of confirming results (8).
For example, it has been experimentally proven that in homeopathy medicines cure, or remove symptoms in the sick, similar to those which they have the power of producing in healthy persons. Prescribing is not based upon pathological diagnosis, or the name of a disease, but exclusively upon the similarity of the symptoms of the patient to the symptoms that a tested remedy produces in a healthy person.
Experience in medicine, principally relies on physical sensory perceptions (sight, touch, odor, etc.) and is based mainly on appearances, and as the old saying goes, appearances can be wonderfully deceptive (8). Time and time again it is observed that when science is based mainly on experience, it only generates assumptions. When with time new ideas and different experiments are made, previous assumptions are proscribed and new ones are voted in, only to be made redundant again in the near future.
Is Homeopathy also an art?
Art and science are inseparably bound together. Every art has its foundation in science, and every science finds its expression in art (9). Man is characterized mainly by how he thinks and what he loves, in other words his will and understanding guide him through life. These are the two main parts, which form his core (10). Thus, it is logical that everything that takes place in an organism, starts from the centre and moves to the circumference. The direction of cure is similar, from the interior to the exterior. Injuries are results of external violence, but diseases result from internal violence, which creates disorder flowing from the innermost to the outermost (8).
In recapping disease, it is any state of disharmony/imbalance in a person manifested by signs and symptoms, some coarse and gross others fine and subtle, some physical, some emotional and some mental. It is a state or condition of the whole person and should never be conceived of as being confined solely to certain localized physical symptoms, or to a specific cluster of symptoms that have been given a specific name (the so-called disease label, i.e. cancer) or which are conceived of as an invading entity (named disease i.e. avian flu) that can, for example, affect whole populations in much the same way (2).
Disease is a disturbance of order created by an unbalanced Vital Force (VF). This VF is clearly described by J.T. Kent as “Having formative intelligence, being subject to changes, pervading the material substance without replacing it, creating order in the body, belonging to the realm of quality rather than quantity, being adaptable and being constructive” (11). Unbalanced VF creates a totality of symptoms and signs (cough, fever, chills, pain, etc.), which is the only way that diseases express themselves. These symptoms and signs are the only representative expression of the disease state and because nothing in nature can be represented by a single property, no disease can be represented by a single symptom. If only exterior symptoms are addressed (common allopathic medicine) the patient will not be cured, since the nature of the sickness itself prevails in the interior (8). Therefore, the patient’s disease symptoms should be given least priority. Homeopathy heals from inside out, and physical symptoms tend to be the last to appear “on the surface”. The physical body produces expressions of the internal mental, emotional and energetic aspects of the human being. By eliminating external physical symptoms alone (allopathic medicine), the real internal cause of disease gets suppressed at the risk of symptoms resurfacing differently and invariably more severely.
A homeopath, to be able to perceive this totality of symptoms, has to be patient, gentle, tolerant and forbearing and this is where art comes in. He must observe and perceive more particularly, the symptoms that the patient unknowingly tries to conceal, because he cannot relate or has no knowledge of how homeopathy works. Altered states like actions, sensations, emotions, behaviors and feelings that the patient would not normally have in healthy state, are the true evidence of disease.
However, common symptoms like fever, redness of the throat, swollen glands, type of cough, color of the skin, etc. are also taken into account, but these are of least importance. They are only the result of disease! Under these common rubrics we may have listed more than 60 different remedies bringing up the same symptoms. Only by considering the totality of all the symptoms, will the homeopath be able to prescribe the correct remedy. In other words, based upon the Nature of the disease, and not on the Name of the disease.
Homeopathy versus Allopathy
In homeopathy, there are no ‘diseases’ as such, but just ‘sick persons’ as individuals. This might seem as a too fine distinction, but it proves to be both a subtle and pivotally insightful distinction between homeopathy and allopathy (12).
When Hahnemann devised his new system of medicine called Homeopathy more than two centuries ago, science had not progressed to today’s levels. The majority of sciences – be it physics, chemistry, biology, or medicine – at the time, were focused on the basis of matter and the whole aim of treatment was on the physical state. Over time, new hypotheses developed and allopaths modified their treatments accordingly.
Though Hahnemann was correct in his findings, he could not explain the physical basis of homeopathy, as homeopathic medicines deal primarily with energy and not with matter, being dynamic in nature. However, homeopathy as a science follows laws and principles, which remain unchanged over two centuries.
At the present, nearly all the so-called allopathic “wonder-drugs” are failing. Bacteria have become more resistant, new viruses are still on the increase, diseases are occurring in spite of vaccinations, and the long-term side-effects of allopathic drugs are being realized.
Interest in homeopathy has seen an increase in recent years. There are more than one hundred thousand practitioners worldwide. There are hundreds of homeopathic medical colleges and pharmacies and indeed many governments have given homeopathy a legal status on a par with that of allopathy. Universities are now opening special seats for homeopathy, and millions of patients worldwide have benefited from homeopathic treatment. Moreover, there has to be a good reason that eleven U.S. Presidents, seven popes, other leading physicians and scientists used and/or advocated for homeopathy, including Sir William Osler (the “father of modern medicine”), Emil Adolph von Behring (the “father of immunology”), August Bier, MD (the “father of spinal anesthesia”), Harold Griffith, MD (founding president of the World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists), Charles Frederick Menninger, MD (founder of the Menninger Clinic), and C. Everett Koop, MD (former Surgeon General of the United States) amongst others, who have been known to benefit from homeopathy (13). Furthermore, there have been many clinical studies, which have clearly shown the efficacy of homeopathic treatment.
An increased understanding of energy physics and technological improvements combined with conceptual advances have led homeopathic research in new directions that are already bearing fruit. For example, NMR research has shown that it is possible to differentiate homeopathic medicines from pure alcohol and water, because their spectra is different. It is possible to differentiate one medicine from another and one potency from another (12). However, homeopathy remains in an embryonic state with lack of funds and facilities, inhibiting its further development. In addition, energy physics itself is in an evolving phase.
Our understanding of electrons is evolving. We moved from believing that electrons were matter, then energy, to now believing that they are both. Until very recently it was believed that the speed of light could not be surpassed. Recent discoveries may also have disproved this. Science is a voyage of discovery where the unexplained is merely phenomena not yet understood.
Let me finish with the words of Master Hahnemann, which I truly believe. Although written over two centuries ago, they are still relevant and contemporary: “At the present, homeopathy grows with slow progress amid the abundance of weeds which luxuriate about it. It grows unobserved, from an unlikely acorn into a little plant. Soon may its head be seen overtopping the tall weeds. Be patient – it is striking its roots deep into the earth. It is strengthening itself unperceived; but all the more certainly in its own time it will increase, until it becomes an oak of God, whose arms stretch that the suffering children of men may be revived under its beneficent shadow” (Leipzig, September 1815, Letter to his close friend Dr Stapf).
1. Vithoulkas, George.Homeopathy Medicine for the New Millenium Coming of the New Millenium. pg. 1, 2.
2. Morrell, Peter. The Principles of Homeopathy. Health and Disease.
3. Vithoulkas, George. The Science of Homeopathy. The Three Levels of the Human Being: The Definition and Measure of Health. pg. 40.
4. Close, S. The Genius of Homeopathy, Lectures and Essays on Homeopathic Philosophy. The Psychological Point of View. pg. 7.
5. De Schepper, Luc, MD, PhD, CHom, DIHom, Lic. Ac. Hahnemann Revisited. Laws and Principles, pg. 26
6. Roberts, A. Herbert, MD. The Principles and Art of Cure by Homeopathy. Homeopathy and the Fundamental Laws. pg. 47
7. Close, S. The Genius of Homeopathy, Lectures and Essays on Homeopathic Philosophy. General Interpretations. pg. 23
8. Kent, T. James, MD. Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy. “Fixed Principles”. Law and Government from Centre. pg. 27, 28, 30.
9. Close, S. The Genius of Homeopathy, Lectures and Essays on Homeopathic Philosophy. Relations of Science and Art. pg. 19
10. Kent, T. James, MD. Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy. The sick. pg. 9.
11. Kent, T. James, MD. Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy. Simple Substance. pg. 59-69.
12. Rutten, Lex, 2009. Scientific Research in Homeopathy, Hypathy Enzine, 5th September.
13. Ullman, Dana, MPH. The Homeopathic Revolution: Famous People and Cultural Heroes Who Chose Homeopathy