Lectures on Homoeopathic Philosophy by James Tyler Kent

Principles

Last modified on March 28th, 2016

Principles

  We will take up today the study of the last part of the third paragraph relating to the fixed principles by which the physician must be guided. In time past, outside of the doctrinal statements of Homoeopathy,medicine has never been a matter of experience, and medicine today, outside of Homoeopathy, is a “medicine of experience.” Now, in order that the mind may be open to receive the doctrines, it is necessary that the exact and proper position of experience should be realized. If the true conception of law and doctrine, order and government, prevailed in man’s mind he would not be forever hatching out theories, as they would not be necessary, and moreover he would be wise enough to know and see clearly what is truth and what is folly.

Experience has a place in science, but only a confirmatory place. It can only confirm that which has been discovered through principle or law guiding in the proper direction. Experience lead to no discoveries, but when man is fully indoctrinated in principle that which he observes by experience may confirm the things that are consistent with law. One who has no doctrines, no truth no law, who does not relay upon law for everything, imagines he discovers by experience. Out of his experience he will undertake to invent, and his inventions run in every conceivable direction; hence we may see in this century a medical convention of a thousand physicians who rely entirely upon experience, at which one will arise and relate his experience, and another will arise and tell his experience, and the talkers of that convention continue to debate and no two talkers agree. When they have finished they compare their experiences and that which they settle upon they call science, no matter how far they may be from the truth. Next year they come back and they have different ideas and have had different experiences, and they then vote out what they voted in before. This is the medicine of experiences. They confirm nothing, but make from experience a series of inventions and theories. This is the wrong direction. The science of medicine must be built on a true foundation. To be sure, man must observe, but there is a difference between true observation in a science under law and principle and the experience of a man who has no law and no principle. Old- fashioned medicine denies principle and law, calls its system the medicine of experience, and hence its doctrines are kaleidoscopic, changing every year and never appearing twice alike.

Let me again impress the necessity of knowing something about the internal government of man in order to know how disease develops and travels, If we observe any government, the government of the universe, civil government, the government of commerce, physical government, we find that there is one centre that rules and controls and is supreme. A man has within him by endowment of the Divine a supreme centre of government which is in the grey matter of the cerebrum and in the highest portion of the grey matter. Everything in man, and everything that takes place in man, is prescribed over primarily by this centre, from centre to circumference. If man is injured from the external, e.g., if he has his finger torn, it will soon be repaired; the order which is in the economy from centre to circumference will repair every wrong that is on the surface caused by external violence. The order of repair is the same in external as in internal violence. Injuries are external violence, but diseases are internal disorder performing violence. All true diseases of the economy flow from centre to circumference. All miasms are true diseases.

In the government of man there is a triad, a first, second and third, which gives direction, viz.: the cerebrum, cerebellum and spinal cord, or when taken more collectively or generally, the brain, spinal cord and the nerves. Considered more internally, we have the will and understanding forming a unit making the interior man; the vital force or viceregent of the soul (that is, the limbs or soul stuff, the formative substance) which is immaterial; and then the body which is material, Thus from the innermost, the will or voluntary principle, through the limbus or simple substance to the outermost, the actual or material substance of man, which is in every cell, we have this order of direction. Every cell in man has its representative of the innermost, the middle and the outermost; there is no cell in man that does not have its will and understanding, its soul stuff or limbus or simple substance, and its material substance.

Disease must flow in accordance with this order because there is no inward flow. Man is protected against things flowing in from the outward toward the centre. All disease flows from the inner most to the outermost and unless drug substances are prepared in a form to do this they can neither produce nor cure disease. There are miasms in the universe, acute and chronic. The chronic which have no tendency toward recovery, are three, psora, syphilis and sycosis: we shall study these later. Outside of acute and chronic miasms there are only the results of disease to be considered. The miasms are contagious; they flow from the innermost to the outer most: and while they exist in organs yet they are imperceptible , for they cannot exist in man unless they exist in form subtle enough to operate upon the innermost of man’s physical nature. The correspondence of this innermost cannot be discovered by man’s eye, by his fingers, or by any of his senses, neither can any disease cause be found with the microscope. Disease can only be perceived by its results, and it flows from within out, from centre to circumferences, from the seat of government to the outermost. Hence cure must be from within out.

In our civil government we see the likeness to this. Let any great disturbance come upon our government at Washington and see how, like lightning. this is felt to the circumference of the nation. How the whole country becomes shaken and disturbed as if by disease if it is an evil governments. If the government be good, we observe it in the form of improvement and everybody is benefited by it. If in the great centres of commerce London Paris or New York, some great crash or crisis takes place, how the very circumference that depends upon these centres is shaken, as it were, by disease. Every little political office depends upon Washington and that order must be preserved most thoroughly. The sheriff and constable the judge and the court, are little governments dependent upon the law that is formed by the state. The law of the state would be nothing if the centre of our government at Washington were dethroned by another nation. All the law and principles in Pennsylvania depended upon the permanency and orderliness of the government in Washington, and there is a series from Washington to Harrisburg and from Harrisburg to Philadelphia. There can be no broken link.

It is now seen what is to be understood by order and directions, and that there are directions; nothing can flow in from the outermost to affect the innermost Disturb one of the courts in Philadelphia and this does not disturb the country or the constitutional government. If the finger is burnt this does not to any greater extent disturb the constitutional government of the man. but the constitutional government repairs it. It is not a disease, it does not rack the whole frame. It is only that which shakes the whole economy, disturbs the government, which is a disease. So man may have his hand cut off without the system being disturbed, but let a little disease, measles for example, flow in from the centre and his whole economy is racked. Old- fashioned medicine talks of experience, but is entirely dependent on the eyes and fingers; appearances are wonderfully deceptive. If you examine any acute miasm you may know what it looks like, but the esse of it cannot be discovered by any of the senses.

We have seen that everything is governed from the centre. Now what comes in the direction of law, what comes from principle, comes from the centre, is flowing in accordance with order and can be confirmed by experience. To apply it more practically, what we learn from the use of the law of homoeopathics, what we observe after learning that law and the doctrines that relate to it- all our subsequent experience, confirms the principles. For example every experience with Bryonia makes Bryonia so much brighter in mind. With experience one grows stronger; one does not change or alter with every mood, but becomes firmly established. If every thing tends to disturb the mind, that means that you are in a state of folly or that you are insane; it may be a little of both, A man that relies on experience to guide him never knows his mind is constantly changing, never settled. It has no validity. Validity is something absolutely essential to science. it is necessary for homoeopath to look upon law as valid and not upon man, as there is no man valid. In Homoeopathy it is the very principle itself that is valid, and things that are not in accordance with principle should not be admitted

We see from all this the necessity of potentization. All causes are so refined in character, so subtle in their nature, that they can operate from centre to circumference, operative upon man’s interiors and from the interior to the very exterior. The coarser thing cannot permeate the skin. Man’s skin is an envelope, protecting him against contagion from coarser materials; but against the immaterial substance he is protected only when in perfect health. In an unguarded moment he suffers and this is the nature and quality of disease cause. It can only flow into man from the centre and towards the outermost in a way to disturb his government. The disturbance of government is a disturbance of order, and this is all there is of sickness, and we have only to follow this out to find that the very house man lives in, and his cells, are becoming deranged. Changes are the result of disorder and end in breaking down, degeneration, etc.; pus cells and the various forms of degeneration are only the result of disorder. So long as order and harmony go on perfectly, so long the tissues are in a state of health, the metamorphosis is healthy, the tissue change is normal, the physiological state is maintained.

We can only comprehend the nature of disease, and tissue changes the result of disease, by going back to its beginning. The study of etiology in the old school is a wonderful farce; because it begins with nothing. It is an assumption that tissue changes are the disease. From the doctrines of Homoeopathy it will be seen that morbid anatomy, no matter where it occurs, must be considered to be the result of disease.

All curable diseases make themselves known to the physician by signs and symptoms. When the disease does not make itself known in signs and symptoms, and its progress is in the interior, we at once perceive that that man is in a very precarious condition. Condition of the body that are incurable are such very often as have no external signs or symptoms.

In the fourth paragraph Hahnemann says: “The physician is likewise a preserver of health if he knows the things that derange health and cause disease and how to remove them from persons in health.” If the physician believes that causes are external, if he believes that the material changes in the body are the things that disturb health, are the fundamental cause of sickness, he will undertake to remove these, e.g., he will cut off haemorrhoids or remove the tumor. But these are not objects Hahnemann means. The objects he means are invisible and can only be known by signs and symptoms. Of course, it is quite right for the physicians to remove those things that are external to the sick man and are troubling him. These are not disease, but they are in a measure disturbing him and making him sick, aggravating his chronic miasms so that it will progress and destroy. These are outward obstacles and not the disease, but in this way man is very often rendered more susceptible to acute miasms. The things “which keep up disease” relate more particularly to external things. There are conditions in man’s life which keep up or encourage man’s disorder. The disorder is from the interior, but many of the disturbances that aggravate the disorders are external. The cause of disorder is internal, and is of such quality that it affects the government from the interior, while the coarser things are such as can disturb more especially the body, such as improperly selected food living in damp houses, etc. It is hardly worth while to dwell upon these things, because any ordinary physician is sufficiently well versed in hygiene to remove from his patients the external obstacles.

In the fifth paragraph Hahnemann says: “Useful to the physician in assisting him to cure are the particulars of the most probable exciting cause of the acute disease, etc.” The probable exciting cause is the inflowing of the cause as an invisible, immaterial substance, which, having fastened upon the interior, flows from the very centre to the outermost of the economy, creating additional disorder. These miasms all require a given time to operate before they can affect the external man, and this time is called the prodromal stage.

This is true of psora, syphilis and sycosis and of every acute contagious disease known to man. While the influx is upon the innermost of the physical man it is not apparent. but when it begins to operate upon his nerves and tissues, affecting him in his outermost, then it becomes apparent. Each miasm produces upon the human economy its own characteristics, just as every drug produces upon the human economy its own characteristics. Hahnemann says that these must be recognized, that the homoeopathic physician must be familiar enough with disease cause, with disease manifestations and drug manifestations to be able to remove them in accordance with principles fixed and certain. There should be no hypothesis nor opinion, neither should simple experience have a place.

If the physician is dealing with acute cases he must take into consideration the nature of the case as a malady, and so also with chronic cases. It is supposed that he is conversant with the disease from having observed the symptoms of a great many cases, and is therefore able to hold before the mind the image of the disease. When he is thoroughly conversant with the very image of the sicknesses that exist upon the human race he is then prepared to study Materia Medica. All the imitations of miasms are found in drugs. There is no miasm of the human race that does not have its imitation in drugs. The animal kingdom has in itself the image of sickness, and the vegetable and mineral kingdoms in like manner, and if man were perfectly conversant with the substances of these three kingdoms he could treat the whole human race.

By application the physician must fill his mind with images that correspond to the sickness of the human race. It is being conversant with symptomatology, with the symptom images of disease, that makes one a physician. The books of the present times are defective, in that they ignore symptomatology and do not furnish us an image of the sickness, They are extensively treatises on pathology, upon heredity, with very little of the patient himself. If we go back to earlier times, when the physician did not know so much about the microscope, when he did not examine into the cause of disease so minutely, we will find in such works as “Watson’s Practice” much better descriptions of sickness. Watson stands at the bedside and relates what his patient look like, and hence it is a grand old book for the homoeopathic physician Chambers , in his lectures at St. Mary’s Hospital, London, also relates with accuracy the appearance of the patient. At the present time the old-school physician says:”I want to know nothing about your symptoms; take this and go to the first drug store and have it filled.” This is the state of things at the present time, a look at the tongue, a feel of the pulse, and “take this,” handling a prescription to be filled at the nearest pharmacy. Is that observing the sick? Can such a man be the guardian of the sick, when it requires time to bring out every little detail of sickness, and a nervous girl is driven off and never permitted to tell her symptoms? Such patients have told me after an hour’s conversation and taking of symptoms: “The other doctor told me I had hysteria, that there was nothing the matter with me, that I was just nervous.” That is what modern pathology leads men to think and say. Everything and say. Everything is denied that cannot be discovered by the senses; hence this false science has crept upon us until it is a typical folly. As to the end of sickness, what sickness will do is of no great matter because by the symptoms we have perceived the nature of the illness and may safely trust to the remedy. If no remedy be applied to check the progress of the disease it may localize in the heart, lungs or kidneys, but the nature of the sickness exists in that state of disordered government expressed by signs and symptoms.

About the author

James Tyler Kent

James Tyler Kent

James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) was an American physician. Prior to his involvement with homeopathy, Kent had practiced conventional medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He discovered and "converted" to homeopathy as a result of his wife's recovery from a serious ailment using homeopathic methods.
In 1881, Kent accepted a position as professor of anatomy at the Homeopathic College of Missouri, an institution with which he remained affiliated until 1888. In 1890, Kent moved to Pennsylvania to take a position as Dean of Professors at the Post-Graduate Homeopathic Medical School of Philadelphia. In 1897 Kent published his magnum opus, Repertory of the Homœopathic Materia Medica. Kent moved to Chicago in 1903, where he taught at Hahnemann Medical College.

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