Current perspectives in conventional medicine are moving towards a holistic model that supports the MICH understanding of pathogenesis. This will be elaborated in the article, Bringing Homeopathy to New Depths. Perhaps even more importantly, these conventional perspectives are driving research towards discovering possible mechanisms by which homeopathic treatment affects the organism.
This article illustrates why it is timely for homeopathy to be recognized and take its rightful place as the medicine of the new millennium. As a seamless integration of leading edge homeopathy and leading edge research begins to emerge, plausible explanations of its nature and actions begin to unfold. We will examine the principles laid out by Hahnemann, first in the light of Quantum Physics and field theory, then Evolutionary theory and Holism, and finally, the most recent conclusions from leading edge research with regards to the causes of chronic disease. Not only do these modern innovations support and further develop homeopathic principles, but they indicate the possible mechanisms through which homeopathy influences the healing response of living organisms.
More and more of Hahnemann’s futuristic vision can finally be vindicated with recent research. Rather than undermine his proposals, we have found that this century’s discoveries have served to reinforce and more fully develop his insights. Hahnemann’s genius shines even more brightly in the light of current findings.
Building on Hahnemann’s Genius
Embracing homeopathy’s full potential requires following Hahnemann’s insightful genius along the same lines and direction as his thinking. Of particular value in the current scientific context, are Hahnemann’s own explanations of how homeopathy works and his peculiar (given his era) fascination with electricity, magnetism and field effects.
Take for example, Hahnemann’s explanation of the action of homeopathy in Aphorism 11 of Hahnemann’s Organon of the Medical Art : “The dynamic powers of medicine … are as utterly non-material, non-mechanical as the power of a bar magnet is when it forcibly attracts to itself a piece of iron or steel lying next to it…” In Aphorism 10, he illustrates his use of the word “dynamic” to describe how the remedy influences the life force by again using the example of a magnet: “The magnet invisibly (dynamically) transmits magnetic energy to the steel without touching it….”
In the footnote of Aphorism 11, when Hahnemann asks: “What is dynamic influence, dynamic power?” He uses the only example of a physical field effect that could be observable at his time: “We perceive that, by some secret invisible force our earth conducts its moon around itself …and the moon raises our northern seas to flood tide at set hours…We see this and are amazed because our senses do not perceive how this happens.”
In all his examples, Hahnemann uses field effects (both magnetic and gravitational) to illustrate the action of his remedies. Even though Hahnemann was a chemist, he purposely did not explain the action of homeopathic remedies chemically. He purposely chose the very new, and barely explored domain of electromagnetics to explain his “dynamically acting” medicines. As he says in aphorism 11 “Obviously this does not happen through material instruments, nor through mechanical arrangements…”
In the same aphorism, Hahnemann describes the vital force or Life Principle as: “a power wesen invisible in itself, only discernible by its effects via the organism.” Today we understand that this is the only way to measure a field. The word “field” is used in physics to denote “something beyond the physical, invisible, and observable only through the behavior of an object under its influence.”
Hahnemann’s Investigations of Electricity, Magnetism and the Human Energy Field
It is clear that Hahnemann used every means he could to negate any idea of a mechanical, chemical action of homeopathically-prepared remedies. And, it is clear through his personal provings of electricity and magnetism, both the north and south poles, that he was fascinated by, and saw the enormous potential of this new dimension of reality. So much so, that he devoted an entire chapter in the Organon, Chapter XII, to the “Dynamic Power of Magnets, Electricity and Magnetism. In aphorisms 288-290, Hahnemann explains some important principles of what we would call “energy work” or the “Therapeutic Touch” developed by Dr. Dolores Krieger, Professor Emerita of Nursing Science. Hahnemann included such details as to the importance of leaving one’s ego aside when doing such work, as well as the importance of direction of movement of the hands, the distance to hold the hands from the body and of not wearing silk. etc. The fact that he personally examined and even provided instruction on how to use the human energy field to heal others, demonstrates his understanding of the energetic level of organization in the human being.
Aphorism 16 underlines the important role of the nervous system in registering the remedies energetic effect, which can today be understood through the operation of the mitochondria in nerve cells (Please refer to the section below).
That Hahnemann would even consider proving electricity and magnetism and creating these potentized medicines illustrates how much ahead of his time he was, and the potential he saw in this dimension of the material world.
Holism and Homeopathy
Homeopathy is truly holistic, able to address the living organism as a whole, and in particular, the very complex human organism whose “wholeness”, integrity or health involves not only physical factors, but mental, emotional and spiritual factors.
Eminent medical university training centers such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, John Hopkins, UCLA, UCSF and many others have been collaborating to develop an “integrative” patient-focused approach for many years. The current trend in leading health care centers is towards a holistic perspective.
More proof of Hahnemann’s genius lies in his understanding of the holistic nature of the organism. In Aphorism 7 of the Organon, Hahnemann insists that the “only thing in every case of disease, [in order to cure] is the totality of symptoms”10. The word gesammtheit means symptom complex as a collective whole which forms one single “outwardly reflected image of the inner wesen” This requirement to perceive the disease state as a whole rather than in parts (as we usually do) is a process that can be facilitated by an in-depth understanding of Holism.
Central precepts of Holism
Holism was originally introduced by Jan Christian Smuts in 1926, in a book called “Holism and Evolution“. Having read and fully integrated Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, Smuts recognized that there was a force behind evolution and the tendency to create wholes, which he called “Holism”. Holism is not a concept or a philosophy, it is a meta-philosophy that explains not only the origins of life, but the purpose of life. Holism provides a much more suitable vehicle for homeopathy than the current Mechanism of Science, which is too limited of a context to hold Homeopathy.
Smuts recognized that the theory of evolution and quantum physics required a complete revolution in our idea of matter. Smuts saw that the Theory of Relativity was a beginning to a revolutionary understanding of matter as not “dead, lifeless stuff” but rather an expression of a wildly dynamic medium called a “field”, whose properties and characteristics we are only beginning to understand.
Smuts, like Hahnemann recognized the limitations of a materialistic, mechanistic view of living organisms. Like Hahnemann, he recognized an immaterial “cause” underlying the physical manifestations. In Aphorism 10, Hahnemann states: “The material organism, thought of without life force is capable of no sensibility, no activity, no self preservation. It derives all sensibility and produces its life functions solely by means of the immaterial wesen (the life principle, the life force) that enlivens the material organism in health and in disease.”
In Smuts’ words: “In mechanical composites, each element in operation or action has its own effect and is a separate cause; and the final result is the resultant blending of all these separate effects. In the whole, as we have seen, there is not this individual separate action of the parts; there is a synthesis which makes the elements or parts act as one or holistically; and the action or function is an inseparable holistic unity…”
Limiting the scientific method to strict analytical empiricism which focuses on parts, and splitting wholes into parts, not only leads to analytical error and oversight, but limits the ability of science to consider the role of the immaterial dimension as an artifact rather than the very essence of the formative forces of creation.
Disease: a Response of the Organism as a Whole
For both Hahnemann and Smuts, the effect of a stimulus on an organism cannot be compared or thought of as mechanical. An external influence is integrated in a synergistic fashion by the organism, becoming a dynamic part of its inner organization. This is by definition susceptibility: to take up and sustain. Susceptibility is a necessary part of the process for food to be ingested and assimilated, for example. Exaggerated susceptibility which is what leads to disease, is due to a lack of discernment, or an inability of the organism to maintain a degree of unique wholeness after the stimulus. A measure of health is an organism’s innate tendency to preserve the integrity of its unique flavor of wholeness, also described by both Hahnemann and Smuts.