Exactly, what is the ‘Fundamental Principle” of homeopathy? A principle that forms the essential basis of homeopathic therapeutic system? I think there is a lot of confusion over the subject of ‘fundamental principles of homeopathy’, not only among homeopaths, but even our ‘theoreticians’.
I would like to call ‘Similia Similibus Curentur’ and ‘Potentization’ as FUNDAMENTAL OBSERVATIONS OF HOMEOPATHY, rather than using the term ‘fundamental principles’. That would be more close to truth.
Hahnemann made two important observations regarding therapeutics 250 years ago:
1. Diseases with specific symptoms can be cured by drugs that can produce similar symptoms in healthy individuals. He called it ‘similia similibus curentur’.
2. When used according to ‘similia similibus curentur’, dug substances can act as powerful therapeutic agents even in high dilutions through a process of serial ‘dilution and succussion’. He called this process as ‘potentization’.
These TWO are the main OBSERVATIONS made by Hahnemann, which are known as fundamental principles of Homeopathy.
Hahnemann tried to explain these OBSERVATIONS in terms of scientific and philosophical knowledge available to him in that POINT OF TIME. Organon consists of these theoretical explanations and speculations. Since scientific knowledge was in its primitive stage at that time, Hahnemann’s explanations were bound to bear that limitations. ORGANON contains a lot of theorizations and speculations that do not agree with, or go against modern scientific understanding.
Equipped with modern scientific knowledge and its tools, we are now in a far better position than Samuel Hahnemann to explain the phenomena he observed 250 years ago. Now we can explain ‘similia similibus curentur’ and ‘potentization’ more scientifically, rationally and logically. With full respect the great genius of our master, we should be truthful and bold enough to discard those evidently unscientific theoretical speculations of ORGANON.
These two FUNDAMENTAL OBSERVATIONS were based on experiences, experiments and logical evaluations of OBJECTIVE PHENOMENA OF NATURE done by a great intellectual person. But the ‘principles’ he used to explain these objective phenomena were unscientific, obviously due to the limitations of scientific knowledge available to him at that time. We should accept his OBSERVATIONS, but judiciously discard or modify his unscientific PRINCIPLES.
Other ‘theories’ are only philosophical explanations, conjectures, interpretations, opinions and empirical conclusion based on personal experiences of ‘stalwarts’ and ‘masters’. They are not ‘fundamental principles’ of homeopathy.
Some people consider each and every word uttered by our ‘master’ as ‘fundamental principles’ of homeopathy. They would profusely quote his words from ORGANON whenever some body raises any hard questions. Some others would even include the words of other ‘stalwarts’ like Kent, Herring and the like also in the category of ‘fundamental’ principles. They would declare that whatever ‘master’ and other ‘stalwarts’ said 200 years ago were “most scientific” and should not be changed. They would not tolerate any attempt of re-reading those ‘theories’ in the light of scientific knowledge humanity has amassed during last two centuries after Hahnemann lived on this earth.
Even though Hanemann was indeed a great genius and visionary, it is impossible for anybody to proceed with his intellectual quest without drawing resources from the treasures of knowledge amassed by previous generations. Obviously, no genius can totally overcome the objective limitations imposed upon him by the space-time context of his life and activities.
We should never forget the objective historical context of 18th century Germany, where Samuel Hahnemann lived and developed his novel therapeutic system. Hahnemann had developed his ideas depending upon the existing knowledge about the universe available to him. It is not to be seen as a sin to say that his thoughts and words were more or less confined by the limitations imposed by the infantile level of science and technology then existed there. Even though the essence of the therapeutic principle he developed is capable of transcending the boundaries of centuries to come, it would be unfair to try to evaluate his achievements and contributions detached from his objective time-space framework.
Had Hahnemann 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 Homeopathy. He would have definitely rewritten completely what we preach and practice in the name of Homeopathy today.
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 them in the modern context. We should not take his written words as if they were ultimate immutable truth, unquestionable and beyond any scope of further revisions and improvements. We should honor the great master by following his teachings as valuable guide to tread forward, and not as lifeless dogmas.
If Samuel Hahnemann happened to live among us now, he would have mastered all the latest scientific knowledge available. He would be the greatest scientist of our era. He would explain “similia similibus curentur” on the basis of quantum theory, modern biochemistry and the latest understanding of molecular dynamics of disease and therapeutics. He would have explained “potentization” on the basis of modern ‘molecular imprinting’, and would have devised a more sophisticated and scientific method of molecular imprinting to replace the present process of potentization.