So who is the best person to ask about any method – the person who discovered and developed it, or the student who interpreted it? We often don’t have a choice – the originators are unavailable, deceased, or their work is inaccessible.
However, in homoeopathy we have the luxury of seeing Hahnemann’s words, speaking to us from 200 years ago. And it’s not as if he was an esoteric hermit mumbling around his pipe in some hidden chamber, with one trusted aging student to decipher his words. Hahnemann was active. He experimented, pondered, taught, and wrote constantly. His writing is pithy, his rants heartfelt and sometimes elegaic, and he writes with a directness and often with a sharp sense of humour. But I’m not writing literary criticism here. The Organon was intended as a manual, to explain the principles of homoeopathy and present how to practice.
So what do I need to know in order to practice? See Aphorism 3 which gives the basis, the optimal syllabus for any course in homoeopathy.
How do I work with patients with mental issues? What’s the connection between mental and physical diseases? see from Aphorism 214.
Watch out not to make favorites of some remedies and neglect others? Aphorisms 257 and 258
What to do about sensitivity? How to relate to aggravation? How to prepare LM remedies? Exactly how to take a case? How to manage a case? What kind of questions to ask? What to focus on in a case? What symptoms will be more helpful in determining a remedy? What symptoms, although undeniably present, must be set aside in the process of choosing a remedy?
Or even what cooks in Hahnemann’s time did to avoid kitchen burns? (hint, it’s in the introduction, see here for my personal experiences with the method)
Here’s a rant about mineral spas – this one’s quite mild but you can hear Hahnemann’s voice (and black sense of humour) loud and clear:
A genuine physician and practitioner of our art will therefore never send the sick to any of the numerous mineral baths, because almost all are unknown so far as their accurate, positive effects on the healthy human organism is concerned, and when misused, must be counted among the most violent and dangerous drugs. In this way, out of a thousand sent to the most celebrated of these baths by ignorant physicians allopathically uncured and blindly sent there perhaps one or two are cured by chance more often return only apparently cured and the miracle is proclaimed aloud. Hundreds, meanwhile sneak quietly away, more or less worse and the rest remain to prepare themselves for their eternal resting place, a fact that is verified by the presence of numerous well-filled graveyards surrounding the most celebrated of these spas.
Yes, the language is a bit archaic. Translations either become too interpretive, or by sticking to the structure of the original German give us long convoluted sentences. As Mark Twain put it:
When a German dives into a sentence, you won’t see him again until he emerges at the other end with the verb between his teeth.See here if you want to learn more about Mark Twain on the German language
A quote that gives significant insight into how Hahnemann thought is to be found at the end of Chronic Diseases. The full quote is eerily prophetic – I will present it in a future article:
“this true theorem is not to be reckoned among those which should be comprehended, nor among those for which I ask a blind faith. I demand no faith at all, and do not demand that anybody should comprehend it. Neither do I comprehend it; it is enough that it is a fact and nothing else. Experience alone declares it, and I believe more in experience than in my own intelligence.“