Will the injection of “modern” ideas into the main body of knowledge have such an effect?
The rejuvenation and renaissance of Homeopathy that we have been witnessing over the past thirty years seems lately doomed to take a downward turn toward a point of degeneration, confusion and finally, even into oblivion.
This downward trend is manifesting especially in the USA and England where the so-called “modern homeopathy” is prevalent. This is obvious from the latest assault on homeopathy by the media in these countries.
This is a 7 minute-long video where Prof. George Vithoulkas talks about “modern” homeopathy, doctrine of signatures, new controversial ideas, etc.
Doctrine of signatures
It is my strong belief that Homeopathy’s eventual downfall will be due mainly to a number of “artistic distortions” that are injected into the main body of knowledge by the “imagination” and “projections” of some “modern teachers’ of Homeopathy. Since many of our students are receptive to the myths and stories concocted by flights of wild imagination, many so-called teachers have risen to fill this gap.
The motivation for this article comes from a critic of a book by an Indian homeopath in Simillimum, Vol. 7, No.3: Perhaps the most inspired section of the book “is the exposition concerning the kingdoms of the remedies – animal, plant, and mineral …based upon easily recognizable features. He has extended the doctrine of signatures far beyond any previous scope. He has boldly stated that the imprint of the remedy is detectable in the patient. I found Sankaran has entered a realm of.. intuitive science”! [my exclamation mark.] It is extremely difficult for me to understand how an arbitrary and totally imaginary translation of the symptoms of a patient into an “easily recognizable” likeness of an animal, a vegetable, a mineral or a nosode makes for an intuitive science!
It is obvious that many interpretations can be given by a practitioner to any given symptomatology in a patient. Just because a patient is freezing and snakes are cold blooded and frozen from the cold, should we choose a snake venom for such a patient e.g. Lachesis rather than cold remedy types such as Arsenicum, Hep-s, Silica, Cistus or Rhus-tox?
It is easy for everyone then to see the confusion that will result when a doctor tries to categorize his/her patients by “whether they look like an animal or a vegetable or a nosode, and how wrong he/she can be in his interpretations. But even if you have categorized somebody into one of these four groups, in what way will this help you to find his or her simillimum?
What will you prescribe in a case of mental disturbance when you see the desire of the patient to bite during delirium? Dog’s milk, (Lac Caninum) tiger’s milk? cat’s milk? or a remedy that has this symptom in its provings such as Stramonium or Belladonna both plant remedies?
Will you prescribe Lac-can for a patient whose coughing sounds like “barking of a dog” or will you prescribe Hyoscyamus, (a plant remedy) which has this symptom as one of its great characteristics? To claim that you can find the likeness or similarity of a patient to a vegetable, an animal, a mineral, is so subjective and allows for so many interpretations that it is totally unreliable. A serious practitioner could not possibly put their patients at risk with such nonsense.
We have had a lot of problems persuading people that Homeopathy is a Science. Now, with all this nonsense, we are once again reinforcing their arguments claiming that Homeopathy is a “non-science”. Such ideas and others, which can be discussed in the future, are signs of degeneration.
If some teachers interpret homeopathic science in such a manner and others do not question their interpretation, we may soon be witnessing the transformation of this science into a kind of “hodgepodge mythology”.
I am not opposed to experimentation, conjecture, pure imaginary projections or even theorizing, as long as such things remain in the domain of research and observation and are not put forth as “facts” to the rest of the profession.
There is no doubt that we are living in a crazy world with far-fetched ideas, where real knowledge is interspersed with confusion, projections and misinformation.
We must not forget, however, that as homeopaths our task, our mission, is to turn the craziness, disorder and confusion of our societies into some kind of sanity and order with the right remedy.
It is true that our science today has a “degree of uncertainty,” a gap which may be filled with what may be called “artistic or intuitive interpretations,” and everyone can supply this according to his or her own point of view or imagination.
Interpreting the sensations and feelings of a patient into something beyond their meaning and reality is a dangerous road for a homeopath to take. We must perceive the reality of human suffering as signs and symptoms expressed by the patient and try to match it with what we know to be the pathognomonic picture of the remedy from the provings. We have to be careful not to project our own little theories or fancies when the health of a human being is at stake.
There is no doubt that homeopathy is difficult in its application and shortcuts are eagerly welcomed by those of our profession who are longing for the new, the easy, the miraculous and the effortless. But such shortcuts will also have their own shortcomings, and thus will add to the gradual demise of homeopathy.
Soon students of homeopathy with good intentions and enthusiasm will be seduced by such “artistic interpretations” and become disillusioned and disheartened when they try to put these ideas into practice. Many will leave these ranks for safer ground, but others will leave homeopathy permanently in bitter disappointment. The long term damage done to homeopathy will be irreparable.
For those who want to read more on this VERY IMPORTANT subject, you can read the following articles by Prof Vithoulkas: Situational Materia Medica and the IJHM interview.