Homeopathy Papers Organon & Philosophy


“Now at the beginning of disease, i.e. in the stage of contagion, there is a limit to influx, for if man continued to receive the cause of disease (if there were no limits to its influx) he would receive enough to kill him, for it would run a continuous course until death.  But when susceptibility is satisfied, there is a cessation of cause and when cause ceases to flow into ultimates, not only do the ultimates cease but cause itself has already ceased.”

Susceptibility to Maintaining Causes

An individual can be merely indisposed by the effects of business failure, unrequited love, stress, overeating, poisoning, etc., but as soon as the maintaining cause is removed the individual returns to health.  A maintaining cause will lead to indisposition;  prolonged indisposition will require treatment, and symptoms will reveal themselves according to the idiosyncrasies of the individual patient.

Constitutional Weakness

Some people can lead an orderly existence, eat good wholesome food, have no obvious maintaining causes, yet display symptoms that express a serious inner disorder.  We must now consider the element of constitutional weakness with regard to susceptibility.  The human economy does not start afresh at the time of conception;  it is the product of imperfect parents, each with his and her own susceptibility and maintaining causes.

Not only the physical impediments of the parents, but also their mental dispositions at the time of conception, their diets, whether they are under the influence of alcohol, drugs or suppressive medication, etc., are all possible ways in which an invisible weakness can be cultivated in the economy of the foetus. So, even at that early stage, it is only able to make imperfect, ineffectual resistance to some morbific influences.  In other words, for those reasons alone, it may not be a potentially healthy human being, with the ability to adapt to its environment effectively.

Furthermore, some weaknesses may be transmitted from previous generations.  Hahnemann called these transmitted weaknesses MIASMS, which means a taint or pollution ? an inherited tendency to the deviation of flow of the vital force from its normal state.  (Miasms will be considered in detail in Unit 8)

Family Susceptibility

Whole families can be susceptible to certain diseases.  Our ancestors are connected to us like links in a chain, the first being connected to the last by the intermediary connecting links.

The tendencies towards cancer, tuberculosis, epilepsy, heart disease, arthritis, schizophrenia, etc., are frequently seen to span the generations of a family.  Ambition, the desire for power, for excitement or adventure, can also often follow this course (although the polar opposite may present instead, and the business tycoon may have a ‘drop out’ son or daughter.)

Racial Susceptibility

Racial groups can be susceptible to particular diseases and have immunity to others.  Roberts says “It is because the similar condition has remained unsupplied through generations and the laws of attraction and susceptibility are manifesting their powers.”  When eventually satisfied, immunity will be established which will produce changes in the economy that bar out any more influx.


Inherited constitutional weakness will render the individual susceptible to a deviation in flow of his vital energy, which is then open to the possible attraction of morbific agents, as there is not the vital power with which to resist them.

Maintaining causes will further debilitate the organism’s dynamic energy, increasing its susceptibility and lowering the resistance to attack. This in itself weakens the organism’s ability to adapt to its ever changing environment.

Susceptibility to Medicines

We are all susceptible to external and internal influences and have suffered suppression of one kind or another.  A health inducing therapy would strive to lower the patient’s level of susceptibility to any given morbific agent, rather than to merely try and remove the symptoms that might appear as the result of the original constitutional weakness, thereby rendering the patient susceptible to the maintaining factor.

Morbific agents do not produce symptoms in all people at all times, but it is quite a different case with artificial morbific agents, i.e. orthodox medicines.

Every real medicine, namely, acts at all times, under all circumstances, on every living human being, and produces in him its peculiar symptoms (distinctly perceptible, if the dose be large enough) so that evidently every human organism is liable to be affected, and, as it were, inoculated with the medicinal disease at all times, and absolutely (unconditionally), which, as before said, is by no means the case with the natural diseases.

? Aphorism 32

Furthermore, it must be remembered that the greatest susceptibility to influence is to the simillimum!

Susceptibility or Predisposition to Disease


About the author

Misha Norland

Misha Norland

The School"™s Director, Misha Norland is a Fellow and a founding member of The Society of Homeopaths. A practitioner now for over 30 years, he was head of Homeopathic Research at the first UK homeopathic college. Widely respected for his teaching and practice skills, over the years has taught many of the world"™s leading homeopaths. An international clinical facilitator, lecturer and author, he is well known for his contributions to journals, conferences and new materia medica. He also teaches and overviews the assessment standards at the School of Homeopathy, New York, and is the principal clinical teacher for the School"™s International Study programme.

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