Kent said in Lesser Writings: “You cannot divorce medicine and theology. Man exists all the way down from his innermost spiritual to his outermost natural”.
Remember, this is not the words of a religious preacher. These words were spoken by a great physician while explaining the philosophy of homeopathy to his students. This statement clearly exposes the world outlook of Kent, which he used abundantly while explaining homeopathic philosophy.
By saying “you cannot divorce medicine from theology”,Kent actually ‘divorced homeopathy from scientific thought’ for ever.Kent remains to be the most quoted and most followed ‘homeopathic philosopher’ for that class of ‘spiritual homeopaths’, who want homeopathy to remain ‘divorced’ from modern scientific knowledge and scientific methods.
Kent can be rightfully called the ‘father’ of ‘spiritual’ homeopathy.
James Tylor Kent is considered to be next only to Samulel Hahnemann in the history of homeopathy. The repertory he complied still continues to be the most widely used repertory among homeopathic community. What a neophyte understands as homeopathic philosophy is actually ‘Kentian philosophy’. Kent’s ‘Philosophical Lectures’ is used as the basic text book to teach ‘homeopathic philosophy’ in colleges. No wonder the majority of homeopathic community vehemently resist any scientific thought or approach evolving in homeopathy. To be known as a ‘kentian homeopath’ is considered to be most respectable position among homeopaths.
I am quoting following statements of J T KENT from his two famous works, which amply demonstrate the ‘theological’ and ‘spiritualistic’ approach he consciously implanted into the body of homeopathic philosophy.
1. ‘You cannot divorce medicine and theology. Man exists all the way down from his innermost spiritual to his outermost natural.’ [Lesser Writings, p.641]
2. ‘A man who cannot believe in God cannot become a homeopath.” [p.671]
3. ‘The body became corrupt because man’s interior will became corrupt.’ [ibid, p.681]
4. ‘Man…becomes disposed to sickness by doing evil, through thinking wrong…’ [ibid, p.664]
5. ‘Psora is the evolution of the state of man’s will, the ultimates of sin.’ [ibid, p.654]
6. ‘This outgrowth, which has come upon man from living a life of evil willing, is Psora.’ [ibid, p.654]
7. ‘Thinking, willing and doing are the 3 things in life from which finally proceed the chronic miasms.’ [ibid, p.654]
1. ‘…had Psora never been established as a miasm upon the human race… susceptibility to acute diseases would have been impossible… it is the foundation of all sickness.’ [Lectures, p.126]
2. ‘Psora…is a state of susceptibility to disease from willing evils.’ [ibid, p.135]
3. ‘The human race today walking the face of the earth, is but little better than a moral leper. Such is the state of the human mind at the present day. To put it another way everyone is Psoric.’ [ibid, p.135]
4. ‘Psora…would not exist in a perfectly healthy race.’ [ibid, p.133]
5. ‘As long as man continued to think that which was true and held that which was good to the neighbour, that which was uprightness and justice, so long man remained free from disease, because that was the state in which he was created.’ [ibid, p.134]
6. ‘The internal state of man is prior to that which surrounds him; therefore, the environment is not the cause…’ [ibid, p.136]
7. ‘Diseases correspond to man’s affections, and the diseases upon the human race today are but the outward expression of man’s interiors… man hates his neighbour, he is willing to violate every commandment; such is the state os man today. This state is represented in man’s diseases.’ [ibid, p.136]
8. ‘The Itch is looked upon as a disgraceful affair; so is everything that has a similar correspondence; because the Itch in itself has a correspondence with adultery…’ [ibid, p.137]
9. ‘How long can this thing go on before the human race is swept from the earth with the results of the suppression of Psora?’ [ibid, pp.137-8]
10. ‘Psora is the beginning of all physical sickness… is the underlying cause and is the primitive or primary disorder of the human race.’ [ibid, p.126]
11. ‘…for it goes to the very primitive wrong of the human race, the very first sickness of the human race that is the spiritual sickness…which in turn laid the foundation for other diseases. [ibid, p.126]
It is obvious from these quotes that Kent took a very puritanical and moral approach towards the origins of disease within the human race and he apparently felt that Psora was equivalent to ‘Original Sin’ or the ‘Fall of Man’. That is why he says ‘homeopathy cannot be divorced from theology.
Hahnemann only said that Psora was the most ancient and insidious miasm, and that it was derived from skin eruptions of various types in the past, such as scabies (Itch), leprosy and psoriasis. These had been contracted by ancestors or in one’s own early childhood. The suppression of these conditions especially through the use of ointments he held to be the primary cause of Psora.
“Psora is that most ancient, most universal, most destructive, and yet most misapprehended chronic miasmatic disease which for many thousands of years has disfigured and tortured mankind… and become the mother of all the thousands of incredibly various chronic diseases… [Chronic Diseases, p9]”
But Kent, in his Lectures, greatly enlarged upon the theory of miasms, proposing that Psora was the foundation of all other illness, without which mankind would be pure and healthy both in mind and body, as in the Garden of Eden. He thus regarded Psora as being equated with the ‘Fall of Man’ and with original sinfulness. He portrayed Psora in this highly moralistic light as also being the foundation of the sexual miasms that came later.
Beyond any doubt,Kent here deviated a lot from original concepts of Hahnemann regarding miasms, there by making homeopathy more of theology than medical science.
The theory of miasms originates in Hahnemann’s book The Chronic Diseases which was published in 1828. Around the same time that hahnemann decided to fix 30c as the standard potency for all homoeopaths. He declared that the theory was the result of 12 years of the most painstaking work on difficult cases of a chronic character combined with his own historical research into the diseases of man. But it was kent, who made homeopathy an art of ‘ultra high’ dilutions.
From the quotes above, it is clear thatKentemphasized the moral aspect of origin of miasms, connecting it with ‘sexual sins’. Hahnemann unlike Kent, attached no moral dimension whatsoever to the sexual nature of the two latter miasms.
See Kent saying: ‘You cannot divorce medicine and theology”. And, ‘A man who cannot believe in God cannot become a homeopath.”
Being spiritual does not necessarily make one a ‘good’ homeopath or ‘bad’ homeopath. If one know how to apply simila similibus curentur correctly, and have enough knowledge of materia medica, anybody can be a ‘good’ homeopath. It was Kent, who unnecessarily introduced the issue of being spiritualist or not as a condition to be a ‘good’ homeopath. His statement that “one who does not believe in god cannot be a homeopath” is totally irrelevant. Hahnemann never placed that condition. It was kent who ‘married’ homeopathy with theology- not hahnemann. I was discussing that aspect of kent’s contribution in my article. In my opinion, without freeing homeopathy from this ‘theological’ and ‘spiritualistic’ philosophy of kent, we cannot study and practice homeopathy as a ‘medical science’. Homeopathy will remain a ‘theological’ or ‘spiritualistic’ healing art as kent wanted it to be.
A scientist can be a spiritualist also. But a man with ‘scientific world outlook’ cannot be a spiritualist. You can give any number of great scientists who were spiritualists. Being a spiritualist, a scientist cannot utilize full potentials of scientific knowledge. To follow a ‘scientific world out look’ is is entirely different from ‘knowledge in science’. Homeopathy cannot be a ‘scientific medicine’, if you understand and practice it as ‘spiritual medicine’ or ‘theological medicine’. I know the influence of spiritualism and kentian philosophy is very deep rooted among homeopaths, and my statement in this regard will not be easily accepted by the profession. But I am sure, homeopaths having ‘scientific world outlook’ will accept my statement.
Kent said “one who do not believe in god cannot be a homeopath. No man with a scientific world outlook can agree to this statement. Homeopathy as a medical science has nothing to do with ‘believing in god’. You can believe or not believe in god, and be a good homeopath.
I am fully convinced that without freeing homeopathic philosophy and homeopathic community from the spiritualistic or theological influence of ‘kentian philosophy’, we cannot hope homeopathy to become a scientific medical system.
Studying homeopathic philosophy directly from the original works of hahnemann such as organon and chronic diseases, using scientific and logical mindset is essential first step to free oneself from the influence of ‘spiritualistic’ philosophy ofKent. Only then can we realize the importance of scientific understanding of homeopathy.
2 thoughts on “‘Kentian Philosophy’- Theological Influence That ‘Divorced’ Homeopathy From Scientific Knowledge System For Ever”
Explaining ‘religion’ or ‘god’ has no implications in homeopathic therapeutics. Actually, I was criticizing Kent for his statements that ‘theology cannot be divorced from medicine’, and ‘those who does not believe in god cannot be a homeopath’. Believing or not in god may influence the personality of an individual, but it is wron to drag that issue into homeopathy. Can anybody say, a ‘spiritual man’, ‘believing in god’, with all good human qualities would be a good homeopath, if he does not know materia medica or how to find a similimum? Can anybody say, a man ‘not believing in god’, knowing homeopathy well cannot cure a patient? It is improper to relate ‘spirituality’, ‘religion’ and ‘god’ with practice of homeopathy.
SPIRITUALITY is different from SPIRITUALISM
Spiritualism actually is a monotheistic belief system, postulating the belief that spirits of the dead residing in the spirit world have both the ability and the inclination to communicate with the living.
‘Spiritualism’ has its roots in ‘theology. All religions nurtures ‘spiritualism one way or other.
Vital force theory originates from ‘spiritualism’. The concept of a non-material, corporeal, intelligent ‘vital force’ animating a living organism is an off-shoot of ‘spiritualism’. That is why ‘spiritualism’ becomes an issue for scientific homeopathy. Without ‘divorcing’ homeopathy from ‘spiritualism’, we cannot make homeopathy a medical science. I was talking on this topic in my article. But everybody confused ‘spiritualism’ with ‘spirituality, and thought that I was questioning spirituality, or human values. I hope this misunderstanding would be cleared by this explanation.
The confusion arises when we use the term ‘spiritualist’. This word is commonly used to refer to a man practicing ‘spiritualism’, as well as ‘spirituality’. It creates confusion. A man practicing human values or ‘spirituality’ is entirely different from a man believing and practicing ‘spiritualism’. Spirituality is not against science, but spiritualism is a totally unscientific belief and practice system.
Spirituality, or human values can be practiced by anybody, even without believing in god or religion. This is called ‘secular spirituality’.
Secular spirituality emphasizes humanistic qualities such as love, compassion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, contentment, responsibility, harmony, and a concern for others, aspects of life and human experience which go beyond a purely materialist view of the world, without necessarily accepting belief in a supernatural reality or divine being. Spiritual practices such as mindfulness and meditation can be experienced as beneficial or even necessary for human fulfillment without any supernatural interpretation or explanation. Spirituality in this context may be a matter of nurturing thoughts, emotions, words and actions that are in harmony with a belief that everything in the universe is mutually dependent; this stance has much in common with some versions of Buddhist spirituality. A modern secular definition: “Spirituality exists wherever we struggle with the issues of how our lives fit into the greater scheme of things. This is true when our questions never give way to specific answers or give rise to specific practices such as prayer or meditation. we encounter spiritual issues every time we wonder where the universe comes from, why we are here, or what happens when we die. We also become spiritual when we become moved by values such as beauty, love, or creativity that seem to reveal a meaning or power beyond our visible world. An idea or practice is “spiritual” when it reveals our personal desire to establish a felt-relationship with the deepest meanings or powers governing life.
Any human being, in any walks of life should practice these essential values for attaining a full life. We need not relate it with homeopathy. Love for others, honesty,thankfulness, openness of heart, humility- all these are personal qualities every human being in whatever profession should preserve, not only homeopaths. We should not mix these ‘spirituality’ of individuals with ‘medical science’ we practice. We should learn and practice the science of homeopathy, which is purely an application of material science. Any therapeutic art, which treats disease with medicinal substance is not a ‘spiritual activity’. It is a ‘material activity’. That is the difference between a ‘healer’ and ‘physician’. Those ‘personal’ qualities we call ‘spirituality’ never play a role in the ‘therapeutic action’ of drug substances we use. That may help ‘healing process’ through psychological influence, but that is not to be confused with ‘homeopathic therapeutics’.
Of course, there is ‘religious spirituality’ also. Traditionally, many religions have regarded spirituality as an integral aspect of religious experience. Among other factors, declining membership of organized religions and the growth of secularism in the western world have given rise to a broader view of spirituality. The term “spiritual” is now frequently used in contexts in which the term “religious” was formally employed.
As per ‘religious’ approach, spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality, an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live. Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop an individual’s inner life; spiritual experience includes that of connectedness with a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; with other individuals or the human community, with nature or the cosmos; or with the divine realm. Spirituality is often experienced as a source of inspiration or orientation in life. It can encompass belief in immaterial realities or experiences of the immanent or transcendent nature of the world.
My contention is that, we should not relate homeopathic philosophy’ with ‘spirituality’, whether secular or religious. That is another phase of individual’s life.
we r always trying to explain that most of d work done by kent is ambigous. e.g. about direction of cure – he said hahnemann never said anything about it (in kent’s lesses writtings} but hering himself gave reference of hahnemann…another exmple is when kent was d co-editer of a monthly journal he proved n published 1 remedy every month, how any one can depends upon such a unscietific provings… thats why we agree with u sir…..