JULIA MINERVA GREEN, M.D., Editor for Laymen.
In the last issue we ended by saying that a mans body is his house, that he lives within it and that man himself is sick before his body is sick. What do we mean by “man himself”? It is that part of man which keeps his organs and tissues alive and functioning; it is the ego, the spirit. Some name it vital force, vital energy, or animation. It is that which distinguishes life from death, the all-important center of direction of lifes activities.
Therefore it is the spirit of man, his emotional self, which is sick first. If this controlling force were absent, the man would not be sick, he would be dead. It stands to reason that there must be disturbance at the centers first, even though all expression of it seems to be at or near the circumference.
Every government works from a center of sub-center and so on out toward the periphery. As a physical analogy, we have the brain (center) the cerebellum (sub-center) and the spinal cord, all sending messages through nerves branching over the body, even to its most distant parts. The direction is from within outward, from center to circumference.
Thus it is easy to see that cure should also flow out from the center of man to his outward parts, from his spirit to his brain and through the nervous system to organs and tissues, even to the mucous membranes and skin, the outermost parts. It follows also that the center of man, his spirit, his soul, must be sick (disordered) before his physical body is sick.
In homoeopathy, we talk much of order and disorder. A sick man is a man out of order or in disorder. Synonyms of disorder are disease, illness, sickness, ailment. (The word disease means painful ease or discomfort.).
Evidences of sickness are the changes or alterations in the feelings of the patient and changes in the functioning of his organs and tissues. When a man is healthy he is not conscious of the physiological processes going on within him; his heart beats, he breathes, moves about, digests his food, eliminates waste matter, etc., etc., without realizing all the thousand-and- one things that contribute to make him normal.
When a man is ill or disordered, he knows it; he has pains, discomforts, irregular and abnormal discharges, etc.; he is miserable. Generally he is spiritually and mentally disturbed, too; is cross, nervous, restless, depressed or too gay, weak, chilly, or too hot, and so on ad infinitum. The keen observer can generally trace these subtle alterations in disposition and sensation even when slight.
When the innermost of man is sick, there are changes in his feelings, his emotions, his loves and hates, his spiritual reactions, his desires and aversions, his will. All such changes are expressed in signs or symptoms and these, even though often very difficult to put into language, constitute the most important characteristics of the disorder to be treated.
Next in order, the man is sick in his intellect; this shows in alterations in understanding, in power of concentration, clearness of mind.
Next he is sick in his reason, his memory, his power of articulation.
Lastly he is sick in his physical body, his organs and tissues with their functioning, his discharges, his skin, hair nails, etc.
We associate pain with disorder. A man can have spiritual pain, mental pain and physical pain. We associate all kinds of nervous distresses with illness. A man can be terribly distressed spiritually, mentally and physically. We think of disordered secretions, excretions, eruptions accompanying many sicknesses. The smooth, even flow of the emotions and of vital forces can be disturbed too.
The homoeopathic physician, then, thinks of a being in considering a man healthy and a man disordered.