Organon: Aphorism 1

Organon picI’ll be presenting Aphorisms from Hahnemann’s Organon (6th edition) here, sometimes with commentary.    Emphases, italics etc. are mainly mine.

What I find consistently interesting in Hahnemann’s writings is the mix of what sounds like overweening arrogance at times, coupled with a sincere and deep humility.  Hahnemann never professes to understand exactly how homoeopathy works.  He presents an option later on in the Organon as to a possible theory, but states that it’s a possibility.  He repeats over and again in his writings, and in one of my favourite paragraphs in Chronic Diseases, which I’ll probably reproduce here as I manage to put it into every blog project and course I ever teach, that he doesn’t know how it works.  He has some ideas, but he never presents them as a final explanation.   The most important thing is not how it works, but how to work it.  It’s a method, aimed at achieving an objective – i.e. cure.

Aphorism 1:

The physician’s high and only mission is to restore the sick to health, to cure, as it is termed. [1]

[1] His mission is not, however, to construct so-called systems, by interweaving empty speculations and hypotheses concerning the internal essential nature of the vital processes and the mode in which diseases originate in the interior of the organism, (whereon so many physicians have hitherto ambitiously wasted their talents and their time).

Nor is it to attempt to give countless explanations regarding the phenomena in diseases and their proximate cause (which must ever remain concealed), wrapped in unintelligible words and an inflated abstract mode of expression, which should sound very learned in order to astonish the ignorant – whilst sick humanity sighs in vain for aid.

Of such learned reveries (to which the name of theoretic medicine is given, and for which special professorships are instituted) we have had quite enough, and it is now high time that all who call themselves physicians should at length cease to deceive suffering mankind with mere talk, and begin now, instead, for once to act, that is, really to help and to cure.


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