Creating Waves of Awareness
Historical Relevance of Re-building Homoeopathy
Time has come for a meaningful dialogue regarding the scope for a scientific re-reading and revising of the fundamental principles and methods of Homoeopathy. A radical re-building of the whole system on a rational and scientific foundation is imperative, emancipating this great therapeutic art from the clutches of unscientific, metaphysical and vitalistic ideologies. Modern physical sciences and technologies have evolved into such a state of maturity, that we can now at least attempt to provide a scientific and satisfactory explanation to the centuries-old mysteries and riddles associated with this wonderful therapeutic system. Such a fundamental re-building shall obviously help in throning homoeopathy on its rightful status as the most advanced branch of modern medical science, unfairly denied for more than last two hundred years.
I would like to entitle this emerging scientific version as DIALECTICAL HOMOEOPAHY, since this re-building is achieved with the help of the theoretical tools of dialectic methodology. DIALECTICAL HOMOEOPATHY is essentially a creative and positive advancement of classical Hahnemanian Homoeopathy, and as such, may be considered as its dialectical negation at large. Historically, it represents a new qualitative stage in the natural evolutionary growth and development of Homoeopathy.
In this modern era of scientific enlightenment and technical advance, we can no longer hope to proceed further ahead with Homoeopathy, without the help of a well proven and universally acceptable scientific methodology. We can no longer hope to depend upon certain set of somewhat mysterious quotations and philosophical speculations inherited from our great masters. It is very important that Homoeopathy has to be first of all dealt with as a subject of science, not as a religion or metaphysics. Essentially, the principles of Homoeopathy have yet to achieve the right to be recognized as part of modern medical science. To begin with, it has to attain acceptability among the modern scientific community, at least in terms of a rational methodology and vocabulary.
Science is not a mere heap of lifeless and dry dogmatic theories and conclusions. It is a live cognitive system, undergoing an endless process of self-renewal and growth. Science never celebrates the words of masters quoted out of context. It is the the sum total of the ideas enwrapped in the expressed words that really matter. It is the readiness on its part to prove its propositions on practical level, to imbibe new ideas, and to discard obsolete ones mercilessly, that makes science distinct from other intellectual activities. That is the touch-stone of scientific method. There is no water-tight compartments in the realm of science.
Human knowledge develops and unfolds itself through a never ending dialectic process of simultaneous assimilation and negation of history. It is impossible for anybody to proceed with his intellectual quest without drawing resources from the treasures of knowledge amassed by the by-gone generations. Obviously, no genius can totally overcome the objective limitations imposed upon him by the space-time context of his life and activities. Development of human
knowledge should be percieved in relation with this objective framework of historical evolution. Man knows today much more than he knew yesterday. Certainly he would know infinitely more tomorrow, than what he knows today. The knowledge of yesterdays, however great they might have been, were much incomplete than that of today. Tomorrow, human knowledge would be definitely more expansive and more inclusive than that of today. The basis of scientific perspective of history lies in realizing this fundamental truth.
We should never forget the objective historical context of 18th century Germany, where Samuel Hahnemann lived and developed his novel therapeutic system. Two hundred and more eventful years have passed since it happened. It is not to be seen as a sin to say that his thoughts and propositions were definitely confined by the limitations imposed by the infantile level of science and technology then existed there. Even though the therapeutic system he developed is capable of transcending the boundaries of centuries to come, it would be unfair to try to evaluate his achievements and contributions detatched from his objective time-space framework.
Human knowledge has attained an ever greater maturity of more than two centuries, compared with the conditions that existed when Hahnemann lived. It is an undisputable fact that man now knows much more about the diverse phenomena of this universe than in the era of Hahnemann. Hahnemann had developed his ideas depending on the existing knowledge about the universe available to him. Naturally it is bound to bear the limitations imposed upon it by the objective historical and geographical context.
Modern science and its methodology were naturally in its infancy in those days. Had he happened to live in this world 200 years later, the towering genius of Hahnemann would have presented to humanity a therapeutic system totally different, and much more advanced and scientific than what we now call Homoeopathy. He would have definitely rewritten completely what we preach and practice in the name of Homoeopathy today.
All these facts underlines the imperative relevance of a complete re-reading of theory and practice of Homoeopathy in conformity with modern scientific and historical context. Whenever we try to learn the teachings of Hahnemann, we should be on the look out to understand what he would have said about those subjects, if he were elaborating it in the modern context. We should not take his written words as if they were ultimates, unquestionable and beyond any scope of further revisions and improvements. We should honour the great master by following his teachings as valuable guide to tread forward, not as lifeless dogmas.
The theory and practice of Homoeopathy has been always a matter of endless controversy, since its inception two hundred years ago. Representatives of the so-called ‘official science’ were always in a state of undeclared war against it. Rather than being hailed as a possible new medical breakthrough to give better health for all, it has been ridiculed, ignored and systematically suppressed through centuries. We repeatedly hear about ‘successful” attempts by its opponents, to ‘disprove’ it ‘scientifically’, and time and again declaring it a ‘fraud, placebo, or pseudoscience’. Inspite of all these scorns, ridicules and ‘witch hunts’, Homoeopathy still exists and thrives all over the continents, alleviating pain and sufferings of millions. The rising acceptance of Homoeopathy not only by the millions of lay public, but the heads of states, members of royal families, and many other dignitories all over the world, has produced a state of dilemma in the world of medicine. Either all of these millions had fallen victims to a successful global scale ‘medical hoax’, or the ‘learned scientists’ striving to disprove Homoeopathy, are being proved themselves wrong.
On the other side of the matter, certain unscientific and dogmatic concepts and notions still dominates the mindset of many who work in the field of Homoeopathy today. Many of them proudly claim that they are strict followers of Hahnemann, and Hahnemann alone. We can meet ‘Classical Homoeopaths’ who hesitate even to refer to any book other than those written by Dr. Hahnemann. They declare themselves to be practitioners of what they call ‘True Homoeopathy’. They are not mere followers, but real worshippers of Samuel Hahnemann. For them, Hahnemann is omnipotent and omniscient like a God! They will not least tolerate any attempt of additions or deletions to what the master has said regarding Homoeopathy two hundred years back. According to them, Homoeopathy is the ‘ultimate’ therapeutic system, and all other medical systems are absolutely unscientific. We also meet certain clever guys who try to sell Homoeopathy maximum through their own private outlets, by assigning attractive trade labels such as ‘predictive’, ‘true’, ‘pure’, ‘classical’, ‘expert’, ‘elite’ and so on. Still another set of people ‘strive’ in vain to make Homoeopathy ‘competent’ to vie with modern medicine, by establishing commercial networks of high-tech ‘super speciality clinics’, pretending themselves to be Homoeo Paediatricians, Homoeo Psychologists, Homoeo Gynecologists and many other specialities. They are trying to fool the public by enacting such absurd drama, whereas it is well known that, being a holistic system of therapeutics, there is very limited scope for such specialities in Homoeopathy. Recently, I have even had a chance to interact with an ‘elite class’ young homoeopath, declaring himself to be a follower of a new ‘predictive’ school in Homoeopathy, exclaiming that the theory of ‘similia similibus curentur’ is outdated, and he no longer requires any Repertory or Materia Medica to practice his ‘scientific’ brand of Homoeopathy! Making the scenario still worse and hopeless, all sorts of unscientific and unethical commercial patented formulations are flooding the market, in the guise of “Scientific Homoeopathy”. The irony is that all these people of various colors and clowns are claiming themselves to be the ‘true’ desciples of a great Genius, who displayed the intellectual courage to reform and re-write his own ‘Organon of Medicine’ six times in his life time, as part of his unrelenting quest for truth and perfection. As this undeniable historical truth remains, it is a pity to note that people who claim themselves to be the ardent followers of the great Master, are shutting their doors on the face of all new knowledge and scientific enlightenment with such hideous tenacity.
The Parallel road pursued by Hahnemann
Samuel Hahnemann, the great founder of Homoeopathy, was born on 10th April 1755 in Germany. He died on 2nd July 1843. ‘Similia Similibus Curentur’ or ‘Likes Cures Like’ is the expression of a universally applicable natural therapeutic law revealed to him as a result of his extraordinary observational skills and ardent study. Based on this fundamental law of natural curative process hitherto unknown to humanity, Hahnemann laid the foundation for a new therapeutic system called Homoeopathy. A detailed theoretical and practical frame work and tools for this new system of therapeutics were also developed during his later years. It is the aim of this article to re-read and re-evaluate this principle in the light of modern biochemistry and other physical sciences. Such a rational re-reading is expected to culminate in providing a scientific explanation for the fundamental principles of Homoeopathy at large.
The epoch-making revealation of Hahnemann regarding the fundamental law of cure was of so much relevance and implications that it really deserved to be recognized in the history of human knowledge along with Newton’s Theory of Motion, Theory of Gravitation or Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. It was a grave unpardonable historical blunder on the part of contemporary scientific world that such a recognition did not happen. Had it been possible for them to imbibe Hahnemann’s findings in its real gravity, the fate and course of modern medicine would have been entirely different.
Physical Sciences of 18th Century Germany was in its early infancy, and obviously, could not recognize the relevance and implications of the new therapeutic law discovered by Samuel Hahnemann. The toolbox of contemporary science and technology was not sufficiently equipped to address this task. Mindset of of the leading personalities working in diverse disciplines of physical sciences were governed by the world outlook of mechanistic materialism. Naturally, they could not take up the the task of assimilating Hahnemann’s findings and propositions, which presented much more complicated theoretical and practical issues that were beyond the boundaries of their mechanistic methodologies. This situation resulted in some sort of willful neglect and apathy from the part of mainstream scientific community towards Hahnemann and his discoveries. They miserably failed to comprehend the revolutionary content and epoch-making relevance of Hahnemann’s findings. Hahnemann, whose apathy towards the contemporary medical system and its professional community is well known, may also have chosen to keep himself aloof from mainstream science. His unrelenting ideological rebellion against the influence of machanical materialism existing in the dominant medical stream may have led him inevitably into some sort of metaphysical and idealistic philosophical gleanings, which dominated the contemporary non-scientific intellectual arenas. Inevitably, Homoeopathy was constrained to follow an independent parallel intellectual course, far removed from the mainstream science. Hence it is not really unexpected that Homoeopathy is reveling in an atmosphere much akin to speculatory theorizations, rather than an objective scientific activity. Even today, Homoeopathy is not able to free itself from the clutches of the above mentioned parallel path. Still it has not come to terms with modern mainstream Science.