Rabe R F
THE ANATOMY OF APOLOGY.
Has anyone seen a tail wag a dog, a cart push a horse, a predicate eat up a subject or a particular smash a principle down to earth? When we come across any curious-looking phenomena, we think investigation is in order, especially when homoeopathy is implicated. Some dozen or more years ago Bogoslovskys Technique of Controversy (really a criterion for skepticism)” sent for any deviation from mental or emotional exactitude, so it is best to walk the line these days and not get accused of being poetic. It is well to estimate the relative importance and order of things within and without the vital range, so as to put first things first into the grist of practical experience.
Homoeopathic literature is not always consistent in this respect. We have long detected here and there a certain allopathic nostalgia, an inapt sentiment of apology which is out of place when natural law is being vindicated. That old hydatid fastened itself on the livers of some homoeopaths soon after the system got going. Then the easily comprehensible platitudes of Hughes provided a powerful though false rationale, so that the process grew, even while the influence and vitality of homoeopathic institution were declining. In fact, until recently, there was quite a suggestive ration in the population of that bilge.
On this side of the western pond, at least, qualities of literature were out out which no one would recognize as homoeopathic. Much of it was simply a mirror of old school attitudes, a faithful copy of palliation and “science.” Looking back, one may see that did did not even contribute to the progress in palliation which the old school was making. Tomes of old Institute Transactions many be searched without finding hardly anything of homoeopathic materia and nothing of method. That was the “keystone” of the house of cards, nor method.
As laboratory science and its corporate exploitation grew, we began to hear that Hahnemanns province in making medical history was to modify blood-letting and mercurial poisoning and that, if his ghost would only follow medical science around awhile, he would be seen going along had in had with the discoverers of those grave-shaking wonders that explode and concuss the popular ear. But the prize stunt of all, if we credit the apologizers, would be to see the shade press up behind medical progress with tin cup in hand to catch any crumbs that might fall behind in the rush to scoop up the output of the cartels, foundations and such. This pose is but another phase of the philosophy of apology.
More recently, the sentiment of apology appears in such outworn cliches as “doubtful diagnosis” when some spectacular cure is reported or crisis resolved. Yet much palliative bait via the chemical or bureaucratic interests is taken in even by homoeopaths, although they could do better with improvement of their own method. Homoeopathic self-criticism should be more considerate of itself.
Another “gag line” which, thanks be, we seldom hear now was that the old school was on the way to rush into our arms by way of serum practice; the it was a form of homoeopathy which would dissolve the scales from their eyes so that they could see that we were just alike after all and that they might be willing to be shown a thing or two besides. Well, how is it now? We have only to watch the reports of artificial illnesses in their journals. But that is not the point. The points is that these homoeopathic apologizers had not learned of the principle of one disease suppressing another as expounded by Hahnemann in the Organon and which may be observed daily in practice: also that it occurs with artificial disease as with involuntary ones. But then, the Organon was a rarity in offices those day!.
We still hear apologetic complaints and warnings against making exaggerated claims for the results of our practice, fearing, we suppose, that they will sew up the allopathic ear tighter than ever, supposing that nay sounds homoeopathic had ever tighter it previously. Well! Is there any probability or even possibility of exaggeration comparable to what the old school is doing? But that is not the point either. If there are genuine cases of exaggerated claims, why not nail them, bring them to disciplinary notice in the open” However, to by-pass the chemical and biopathological phantasmagoria playing through the public prints, is there anything more spectacular in the way of health restoration than the ones we see so frequently in our practice? Should those be kept under the bushel? Rather, were it possible to make a persistent onslaught with such armament would it not be more likely to attract attention, if such attention is desirable? This “exaggerated” claims form of self-immolation is unwise.
Another cheerful form of apology is the proposition that reports of cures should be substantiated by the material techniques of the laboratory; otherwise just keep quiet and let others perk. Deducting the uncertainties of the laboratory, especially when divorced from clinical intimacies for one reason or another, this is truly a wet blanket over the homoeopathic skeleton. PErsonally, we see only further discouragement in it. It plays down the hard and potent clinical facts with which, after all, everyone is most concerned. This writer would here acknowledge his debt to the many instructive clinical reports of the past, made authentic by repetition and verification, to say nothing of the recognisance of law.
Finally, a few homoeopathic murmurs have been heard that one should be a physician first and a homoeopath afterward. Just what that means is beyond this “effort.” Whether such medicos are supposed to be a strain apart from the ordinary has not been explained. Therefore, although we would like to be accommodating, we can hardly comment at this time, except to say that homoeopaths as a body have too heavy a share in the responsibility of the sick mans burden already. A contemporary wrote me only yesterday his belief that “if all the homoeopaths of this country had continued to practice according to the tenets of their faith the whole nation would be homoeopathic now”.
The main reason why the allopath does not turn to homoeopathy, even when he recognizes its truth and soundness, is that he is getting his living in other practice and he and his family does not see the way to make such social and economic change with a sufficient degree of safety. The risk seems too great. I have known a few such instances and sad they are. It is a misfortune which all share in our world-wide economic and social fatuity.
Well, happily the apologetic phase of our HOMOEOPATHIC existence seems almost past. The residue of our organizations is now fertilized and is beginning to show fresh reliance on law and principles regardless. That move of the American Institute to sponsor the American Foundation Postgraduate School is the most significant HOMOEOPATHIC event of the century. If we continue to adhere to the principles of the Organon, our method will take on new growth and eventually, cooperating with other normal practices, become a real power on earth. R.E.S.H.
[ From the introductory remarks of the Chairman of the Joint Bureau of Homoeopathic Philosophy, A.I.H. and I.H.A., July 6, 1950.
Says Will Durant in his Story of Philosophy: “Science seems always to advance while philosophy seems always to loose ground. Yet this in only because philosophy accepts the hard and hazardous task of dealing with problems not yet open to the methods of science. So soon as a filed of inquiry yields knowledge susceptible of exact formulation, it is called science. Every science begins in philosophy and ends in art; it arises in hypotheses and flows into achievement. Philosophy is a hypothetical interpretation of the unknown.. or of the in exactly known.. it is the front trench in the siege of truth. Science is the captured territory and behind it are those secure regions in which knowledge and art built our imperfect and marvellous world. Philosophy seems to stand still, perplexed; but only because she leaves the fruits of victory to her daughters, the sciences, and herself passes on, divinely discontent, to the uncertainties of the unexplored.
“Science is analytical description; philosophy is synthetic interpretation. To observe process and to construct means science to criticize and coordinate ends is philosophy; and because in our interpretation and synthesis of ideals have multiplied beyond our interpretation and synthesis of ideals and ends, our life is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. For a fact is nothing except in relation to desire, it is not complete except in relation to a purpose and a whole. Science without philosophy, facts without perspective and valuation, cannot save us from havoc and despair. Science gives us knowledge, but only philosophy can give us wisdom”.
The idea of the first JOINT Bureau of Philosophy originated in the mind of our eminent President, Dr. Cookinham-and if we think for a moment we realize that this idea goes deeper than appears on the surface. In one of his monthly inspiring messages, Dr. Cookinham stressed the vital necessity of UNION: United we stand, divided we fall. Now there is not union unless there is a common ideal, an identical purpose and a similar philosophy-what divides the world today is opposite ideologies. Since our ranks are dwindling these last years, we have to tighten them, and confront the forces of disintegration with a greater unity.
The American Institute of Homoeopathy and the International Hahnemannian Association both need the fertile cross-pollenization that comes from an active exchange of views, ideas and techniques. We all have to review from time to time our philosophy in order to cope with the swiftly changing world, we all need to take stock of the advances in the various fields of science and medicine and the new unforeseen applications of the Law of Similars in these fields. Because of these developments we have to re-evaluate and streamline our philosophy. ROGER A. SCHMIDT, M.D.
In keeping with the customs and traditions of the season, the Editor desires to express to all readers of the Recorder his best wishes for a happy, prosperous and peaceful New Years. In these times of troubled wondering about what the world is coming to, goodwill is a rare and precious commodity. Therefore, the Editor gives thanks for the past support given to the Recorder by its subscribers and hopes that this will be continued in the uncertain future.
There are many problems to be met and solved in connection with the publication and editing of a small medical journal such as ours, not the least of which is the matter of material which is suitable for and can be used to fill the pages of the magazine. At the present writing, we are faced with a scarcity of such material. The Recorder depends chiefly upon the annual meeting of the International Hahnemannian Association to furnish a backlog of articles around which each issue can be build.
The 1950 convention of the Association, because of its small attendance, did not come up to expectations with respect to the material turned over to the Editor for inclusion in the Recorder, although homoeopathic enthusiasm was not lacking in spite of the small numbers present at the convention. Many papers promised were not forthcoming because the writers themselves did not attend. As a result, the Editor finds the bottom of the barrel nearly in sight, although the publication year is only half over.
This editorial, then, is in the nature of a plea to readers of the Recorder to come to its rescue by contributing articles and case reports for future publications. As stated in a previous editorial, [ The King is Dead! Long Live the King!, The Homoeopathic Recorder LXIII: 3: 93 ff. (Sept. 1947) contributed articles from professional readers are welcome. The Editor, however, as his duty imposes, reserves the right to determine whether or not such contributed article is suitable for publication.
The accumulation of a reserve of material suitable for publication is a most urgent matter at this time. The Editor can to emphasize too strongly the need for such contributions. Please come to the rescue. We need articles, case reports, letter of approbation or criticism, news items pertaining to homoeopathy or its practitioners-and we need them now. A.D.S.