‘Kentian Philosophy’- Theological Influence That ‘Divorced’ Homeopathy From Scientific Knowledge System For Ever
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.