THE Homoeopathic law, “Similia similibus curantur,” is unexceptionable; there can be no diseased condition to which it is not applicable: and in the perfection of pathogenetic science lies an absolute certainty of universal cure.
While there are no diseases to which the law of similia is not applicable, there are certain morbid manifestations, the removal of which may be accomplished under the law of “Contraria contrariis curantur,” and also certain ones, removable under the law of Revulsion. Hence, while we have, in the maxim of Hahnemann, a universal law of cure, we have less general ones from Galen and Hippocrates. To operate in either of these ways-under the law of Hahnemann, the law of contraria, or the law of revulsion-the drug must reach the personality of the patient. The Disease proper, lying behind all the symptoms, in the personality, can only be affected by those influences which can follow it thither. The symptoms, perhaps, are occasionally relieved or palliated, without penetration into the essential egoism-such, at least, is the opinion of some writers-but a radical cure is only effected by neutralizing the morbid influence, where it sits in the personality, disturbing the proper distribution of the vital currents and producing manifold disasters.
The cure of a disease may, and, in fact, must occur before the subsidence of the symptoms to which it gives rise. The exceptions to this general rule are as follows:-Symptoms may be removed by cutting off communication between the personality and the organs through which they are manifested. The pain of a neuralgia, for instance, is often suppressed by large doses of Morphine, because the nerves of communication between the affected part and the rest of the personality are under a condition of partial paralysis, and therefore cannot perform their proper function. Symptoms may also be suppressed by a remedy applied to the part where their manifestation occurs. Ulcers may be healed with Caustic; cutaneous eruptions removed by stimulating unguenta; congestio cerebri, with bladders of ice; and constipation, with purges. But the morbid essence, which caused the abnormal manifestation, still remains in the personality, and will by and by exhibit itself in another, and perhaps, a more dangerous direction. The same symptoms are apt to return when the reaction from the treatment occurs; and it is for this, among other reasons, that in chronic diseases, topical treatment is not admissible.
It will be remembered that in our article on the Theory of Disease, the morbid influence was said to enter the personality in one or more of three directions, viz., through the molecular, spiritual, or vital affinities of the “Ego.” It was there held that, in health, the affinities of the personal Ego were, all of them, acting in normal directions, i.e., in directions calculated to permit and to facilitate the outworking of the individuality of the Man. It was also held that, in disease, these affinities extended in unusual directions, and, by this unusual action, caused embarrassment to the natural utterances of the personality. Now, remedies-which are disease producers- enter the personality by the same three avenues. They may enter through the material side, being digested and absorbed; through the spiritual side, being a part of the thoughts and emotions; or through the Life itself, being themselves of an essential, vital, or specific character.
We shall instance all three of these methods of remedial approach; and first, of the approach through the material side. When the personality is reached through this avenue, it is done by changing the condition of the body itself. Foreign molecules are forced into the physical composition of the Man, and thus the personality, which is man in the totality of his material and spiritual relations, is changed by the additions which have occurred to one of its sides. The presence, for instance, of the metallic arsenic found in the muscular tissue, and even in the bones and nails, of Mrs. Stephens, changed the composition of the material side of her personality to such an extent, and involved such an unusual condition there, as to interfere with the outworking of her individuality, in a very decided manner. Of course this Arsenic was digested and absorbed, as if it had been food-taken up by the blood vessels, and carried in their flowing currents to the parts of the material person where it was found deposited. The molecules of the Arsenic were themselves taken bodily into the body, in obedience to the molecular law. So also, madder is taken up bodily as madder, in small molecules, and carried all over the system, till it lodges in the bones, and is there found, having fulfilled the molecular law, and having become a part of the personality, under its workings.
The second avenue of remedial approach to the personality, and consequently to the Disease, i.e., the one through the spiritual side of the Man, may be witnessed every day in a hundred ways. The passions and emotions which belong to the spiritual sphere are very powerful in their influence upon the personality, both for good and evil. The less exciting intellectual operations, if of sufficient interest to hold the attention, often modify the diseased manifestations. The chills of intermittent fever, it is well known, are frequently avoided by means of strong mental impressions. A patient, who had been confined to his sofa by an ankle badly sprained, was suddenly cured by the shock to his emotional sphere, occasioned by the sound of a desperate fight under his chamber window. The shock resulting from the sight of a stage murder brought on the menstrual flow of a woman, who had had Amenorrhoea for months. Instances occur too frequently in the practice of every physician to call for further remarks on this point.
We come now to speak of the third avenue of remedial approach, viz., through the vital essence-the Life itself. As the personality can be reached through the material sphere by material influences only; and as it is also reached through the spiritual sphere by spiritual influences alone; so when reached through the Life-the vital sphere-it must be by vital influences, i.e., by those peculiar, specific qualities which depend upon the vital essence of the remedy. We have explained, in a previous paper, our reasons for adopting the term vital, when speaking of specific and essential properties. There are, it is true, many drugs in use, which are from the realm of inorganized matter; but we have shown the truth of Mr. Hunter's teaching, that Life is independent of organization, and when speaking of the vital properties of such drugs as Silicea, Calcarea, Mercury, etc., we are to be understood as referring to their specific qualities, as detected by the vital affinities of the human personality.
The specific action of drugs is instanced in the cure of intermittent fever with China; of syphilis, by Mercury; of angina, by Belladonna; of ephemeral fever, by Aconite; and, in fact, in almost any cure, with almost any drug. No particular arrangement of the molecular structure of China, or Mercury, or of either of the other drugs mentioned-no chemical constituents which either of them may possess-can account for the relations they bear to the specific diseases which they cure, or to the abnormal conditions which they remove. The power of the drug to cure disease depends upon its specific properties alone; and these only are to be taken into consideration in the selection of a remedy for any given case. As these specific properties are vital, they can be appreciated by the vitality only, nor, indeed, can any correct idea be formed of their true character and value, unless the human vitality is employed as a test. The specific, or vital properties of the drug are brought into contact with the vitality of a man, and there make their impression. The real specific character and influence of a drug is, by this means, forever certain, and fully known.
If it be asked why the specific properties of different drugs affect the system in different manners and degrees; if we inquire why hydrocyanic acid paralyzes the human vitalities to death, while citric acid is harmless and grateful; we can only reply, such is the specific law, held over each since the beginning. We can say that the relations of the human life to certain specific essences are such that both cannot exist, at the same time, in the sphere of the personality; that on the entrance of the influence of the drug, the vital influence, unable to hold a contiguous position, leaves the bodily form, to take up its residence elsewhere.
Inasmuch as there is an incompatibility between the Life and certain specific essences belonging to, and emanating from drugs, so also must there be an incompatibility between diseases and the specific essence of that agent which proves remedial. Disease is, as we have said in our previous article, a condition of the Life which interferes, perhaps merely on account of its unusualness, with the normal outworking of the personality. The cause of this changed and unusual condition of the vitalities is found in the presence of a morbid influence within the sphere of the personality. This morbid influence, be it remembered, is always a specific essence, and is, of course, under the same code of laws, as are the specific, essential, vital properties of man. It is under the same general laws, because it belongs to the same class of entities.
There exists a specific entity within the man, making him not only man, but the man he is; and there exists, outside the man, millions of other specific entities, making their several bodies precisely what they are. The same general law, we repeat, must govern them all. That law is the law of affinity and antipathy. Certain essential entities have certain affinities for certain other essences, and antipathies for certain others.
An analogous law is found in that of magnetic polarity, the positive pole of one magnet repelling the positive pole of another, while it has strong affinity for the negative. There is an analogy also in the chemical affinities and antipathies; and it so happens that the nearer to sameness are any two chemicals, the more certainly are they repelled from each other; and the more defined the differences, the more certainly are they attracted.
Here, then, we come directly upon the method by which disease is expelled the personality. The morbid essence has enough affinity for the personality to remain in its sphere, but has very little, if any, affinity for the Life, and one or the other must leave the system. The struggle goes on, followed by the evolution of external symptoms, and now comes into the personality another essential influence-another specific entity-as fully capable, under the law of its nature, of affinities and antipathies, as either the Life, or the morbid essence. If the new influence is similar to the morbid one, no affinity occurs; but as the north pole repels the similar north pole, so the newly introduced essence repels its similar, and the morbid influence previously existing in the system must either overcome this antipathy, or leave the personality, to take up its residence elsewhere.
Disease is, in fact, an essence, a specific entity, as is man's Life. Disease cannot die, any more than the Life of man can perish. Both these entities change their position, whenever the nature of their surroundings is such as to call out their affinities. When a man recovers, therefore, from an illness, the morbid influence has left him, in consequence of the introduction into his personality of another entity, the presence of which was repulsive to, and unbearable by, the essence of the disease. As two men may be in the company of a third who has some affinity for both, while they are so antipathetic to one another, as to be thoroughly incapable of breathing the same air, and one, or the other, must leave the company, notwithstanding the affinity between the third man and each of the other two; so in convalescence, the personality, represented by the third man above alluded to, having an affinity for both the disease essence and the drug essence, loses the presence of one, through their mutual repulsion. Manifestly, the repulsion, to be perfect, must take place between similars, and hence the Homoeopathic law.
A certain morbid essence, being in the personality, produces certain external symptoms, by means of which we understand its peculiar nature. The essence of a certain drug, being introduced into the personality, during health, will produce the same symptoms. From the observation of these two sets of similar phenomena, we must conclude that the causes producing them are similar; and if we wish to expel from the system the first essence, which is morbid, we may do so by introducing the second, which is so similar, so like in every respect, that a repulsion takes place, and the first essence leaves the personality. It may sometimes happen that the first essence, the proper morbid influence, may, for a time, be the stronger of the two; but the sources from which it came being removed, while the sources from which the second comes are constantly at hand, in the form of repeated doses of the drug, the morbid essence must finally change its position and pass away.
Cure takes place, then, through the antipathy of similars. This, which is believed to be the true solution of the methodus medendi, is, at the same time, a grand confirmation of the law of “Similia similibus curantur. ”Contraria contrariis curantur“ is not true of the morbid essence proper; it is true only of those symptoms which are always simply external manifestations of the real diseased influence which lies beyond them. Contraries will not, nor can they, drive out the essential essence of disease; but rather, as the north pole of the magnet attracts the south pole, in virtue of its opposite, contrary character, the administration of contraries must intensify the disease previously existing.
Thus, then, is submitted our theory of cure. Its truth, or falsity, depends on one premise only. That is, that essential, specific entities are under the universal law of attraction and repulsion, of affinity and antipathy. Of the truth of this premise, it seems impossible to doubt. A world of analogies, from all the grosser material elements of the Cosmos, is at hand to prove it. From the realm of Spirit, from the kingdom of the soul, come also a thousand likes and dislikes, loves and hates, in confirmation. And if proof were needed in addition to these analogies, the Life itself, this intangible essence of our being, shows its affinities and antipathies in the appropriation of nutrient, and in the rejection of innutritious substances.
Symptoms are, of course, of three kinds, differing from each other as they are manifested on the material, spiritual, or vital side. Purely material symptoms are, from the nature of things, the last to make their appearance, and the last to disappear on convalescence. They always consist, to a greater or less extent, in organic lesions. Blood congestions and consequent chronic inflammations, malignant growths, and radical changes of structure, are well understood to be symptoms belonging to the material sphere. Pains, also, are manifested through the material side of the man, and, consequently, are to be classed among the material symptoms.
There are also symptoms manifested through the spiritual sphere, of a very different character from those just mentioned. They are instanced in abnormal, i.e., in unusual mental habits, in unreasonable acts, in unjust antipathies (using this term in its popular sense,) in delusions, and in psychical dementia.
Symptoms which are purely vital are only met with in the very beginning, at the very outset, of the morbid influence. They are mostly confined to the general feeling of malaise which arises in the coenesthesis, or common internal feeling. Every symptom occurring during the course of disease has a vital element in it which is essential to its presence; but purely vital symptoms are rarely noticed, except as above indicated.
Symptoms, whether manifested through the material, spiritual, or vital sphere, are made up of three elements. These concomitants are first, the morbid essence; second, the repelling force; third, the external phenomena. This is the general rule, to which there are but very few exceptions. The symptoms following a deadly stroke of lightning are not possessed of any element of repulsion, the morbid influence is the principle element, and to this the Life immediately yields without the least attempt at recuperation. No other exception at present occurs to us.
Now the object of sound therapeutics is not so much to remove symptoms, as to cure disease. For if a symptom be removed without the thorough repulsion of the morbid influence from the sphere of the personality, there is still in the man that which will certainly destroy him, unless in some way antidoted. We have only to call to mind that the natural ultimatum of disease is Death, to make this apparent. The removal of symptoms by topical applications, local stimulants, etc., is much as if, when a ship hangs out signals of distress, the vessel which would relieve it, should send forward men to cut away, or burn up the signals calling for assistance. Beyond all doubt the best, and in fact the only law of cure, is that which, in removing the symptoms, does so only as an incidental result of an antipathetic influence exercised by the remedy upon the morbid essence.
The morbid essence having thus left the system, the symptoms gradually subside under the recuperative action of the Life, this vis medicatrix naturae. If the external symptoms evolved by the morbid essence have taken the direction of blood congestion and consequent organic lesions the complete convalescence of the patient cannot take place immediately, though the personality is freed from the morbid taint. The disease may be removed in an hour, perhaps, while the results of the morbid action may still exist. This brings us to the consideration of the true nature of symptoms, which we shall endeavor to unfold in our next number.
|The AMERICAN HOMOEOPATHIC REVIEW Vol. 01 No. 04, 1859, pages 145-153
|Theory of Cure.
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