This article may seem to be some what provocative. Excuse me for that. Speaking hard truths may feel bitter and provocative. Ancient Indian scriptures warning me: “sathyam bruyal, priyam bruyal; na bruyal sathyam apriyam”. I know, I am speaking ‘sathyam apriyam’.
Most homeopaths are ‘believers’. For them, homeopathy is a sacred ‘belief system’. They ‘believe’ that ‘homeopathy is ultimate science’ and ‘our master’ is ‘greatest scientist of all times’. They ‘believe’ in master, ‘believe’ in organon’, ‘believe’ in ‘similia similibus curentur’, ‘believe’ in ‘vital force’, ‘believe’ in ‘dynamic drug energy’, ‘believe’ in ‘miasms’, ‘believe’ in ‘immutable fundamental principles’, ‘believe in ‘single drug-single dose’, ‘believe’ in ‘hering laws’, ‘believe’ in ‘drug relationships’, ‘believe’ in ‘words of stalwarts’, ‘believe’ in ‘teachers’ and ‘gurus’. This list of ‘homeopathic beliefs’ is fascinating as well as unending. They ask me: “do you believe in homeopathy?”
They hesitate to accommodate new knowledge. They never ask ‘why-what-how’ about their beliefs. They would never tolerate anybody asking such hard questions
Most of them prefer to be die-hard fundamentalists- homeopathic fundamentalists. Tougher than even those dreaded religious fundamentalists. They behave themselves like ‘faith-healers’ than scientific medical professionals and physicians. To talk logic, reason and science to such a closed-minded ‘believers community’ is a tough task indeed- and dangerous to some extent.
Without displacing our deep-rooted ‘blind beliefs’ with ‘scientific knowledge’, we cannot hope homeopathy to become a scientific medical system. Study, research, experiment, learn, know and apply- that is the way of science. Not blind believing and following.
One of the unshakable beliefs among homeopaths is regarding the ‘great damage’ that could be done to the patient by giving an ‘unnecessary’ dose of potentized drug, including untimely repetition of even indicated drug. Did anybody any body conduct any scientific experiments to verify whether this ‘belief’ is right or wrong? Never! They would claim, they had such ‘experiences’.
Some homeopaths have a wonderfully perverted sense of ‘cause-effect’ relationship. They consider every ‘before-after’ chronological relationship as cause and effect, and jump into queer conclusions. Once they give a ‘single’ dose of drug to the patient, everything that ‘follows’ that act will be attributed as the ‘miraculos effect’ of their ‘single dose’. Many ‘cures’, many ‘aggravations’, many ‘side effects’ are actually the product of this perverted understanding of ‘cause and effect’.
Once I heard a ‘teacher’ talking at a seminar. He was talking about the probable consequences of ‘unwanted repetitions’ of potentized drugs. He explained his experience of an incident of his middle aged patient having a serious heart attack after an ‘untimely’ second dose of lachesis 200, which was given for an eczema. First dose was given, and there was ‘miraculous’ improvement. after one weak, he happened to give a second dose, which was ‘untimely hurried’. That night, doctor got a phone call informing him that the patient was admitted in ICU following a massive cardiac arrest. ‘I was very sorry for that, because that cardiac arrest was due to the driving of disease to inner layer by untimely repetition of lachesis”- said the doctor.
It is common sense that a ‘cardiac arrest’ in a middle aged man is not that much ‘sudden’ as we think. There should be hyperlipidemia, atherosclerosis, narrowing of coronary arteries happening through years, which finally led to the blockage of arteries and heart attack. Why should a homeopath relate that ‘heart attack’ to a ‘dose of lachesis 200? Only logic is, that happened ‘following’ that dose!
We hear this type of incidents and experiences reported by homeopaths in their practice. Somebody said: “my patient got delirious attack’ after a dose ofBell200. Another homeopath argues: “A patient showed eruptions all over body after a dose of merc sol 200, that is a proof that homeopathy drugs have dangerous side effects”.
Why not these friends do some experiments by giving bell 200 or merc sol to a few more persons and watching the outcome before reaching this type of conclusions? At least on some pet animals?
Dear friends, ‘cause-effect’ relationship is different from ‘Before-After’ relationship. Kindly use some logical thinking and rational experiments before declaring foolish conclusions. That is scientific method.
Another unshakable ‘homeopathic belief’ is regarding the ‘dangers’ of ‘mixing’ two or more drugs. Did anybody ever conduct a scientific study to verify it? Never. But they ‘believe’ so. Remember, we are not even sure about the active principles of potentized drugs. We just ‘believe’ that our drugs contain ‘dynamic drug energy’, only because our ‘great master’ said so! Without knowing the active principles and their interactions, how can we say ‘mixing’ of drugs is harmful?
Homeopaths ‘believe’ in ‘vital force’ and ‘dynamic drug energy’, even though they know all the sciences they learned in schools and colleges do not justify those beliefs. They ‘believe’, only because they are expected to ‘believe’ all those absurd things as the ‘true followers’ of our ‘great master’. They are trained not to ask “why?”.
Take the ‘belief’ regarding ‘drug relationships’. Nobody ask whether any scientific studies were ever done on that subject. Without any scientific proof, we repeat what we were taught by our teachers or read in books- Drug A will antidote Drug B, Drug C is complementary to Drug D, Drug X is inimical to Drug Y and so on, very well ‘proving’ from hundreds of daily experiences that all these things are utter nonsense!
Hahneman was a great philosopher, innovator, physician and visionary. But he was a human being- not a prophet or a god. He lived and worked in 18th centuryGermany. His works, ideas and theories would bear the historical marks of time-space he lived and developed his ideas- of course its limitations also. In spite of his great vision that transcends the boundaries of centuries to come, hahnemann also made a lot of speculations that are obviously unscientific in the present knowledge context.
Organon is a great work, unmatched in history of medical literature. But that does not mean each and every words of organon are ‘immutable’ truths. If you study organon with a rational and scientific mindset, you will see that there are a lot of unscientific ideas in organon, necessitated by the infantile state of scientific knowledge available to hahnemann 250 years ago. But homeopaths prefer to ‘believe’ organon is ‘ultimate science’.
We can learn it in two different ways- dogmatic way or creative way.
Most homeopaths prefer to study organon and other works of hahnemann in the dogmatic way. The teacher or his ‘words’ are considered to be the ultimate authority here. His words are the ultimate truth. Master is considered to be beyond any mistakes, a ‘know-all’ without any limitations. The learner’s only duty is to grasp what is spoken by the master. Questions should be asked only to clear any doubts regarding ‘master’s words- only to clearly understand the meaning of what he is saying. His theories should be discussed only to learn it ‘perfectly’. If you try to question the correctness of ‘master’s words it will never be tolerated. Only permitted relationship between the teacher and learner is ‘guru-disciple’ relationship. Here learning means ‘believing’ and ‘following’.
The other way of learning is ‘creative learning’. Here, the learning by itself becomes a creative process. The books, the ideas, the theories and even the teacher- all are tools for the learner in this creative process. Utilizing these available materials and tools, the learner creates his own ideas through this process of learning. In this process, he will have to discard what ever he finds incorrect or unfitting to the ever-growing knowledge system. Learner digests and assimilates the ideas he get from books or teachers. He asks question like ‘why-how-what’ regarding everything preached. He earnestly verifies the correctness of every idea before they are accepted. Every lesson is dissected, analyzed, verified and then synthesized in a new higher dimension. Creative learning involves creation of new ideas using existing ones.
Homeopathy can be learned either way- dogmatically or creatively. My method of learning is latter one. I prefer to call this method ‘dialectical learning’. I cannot copy the words of ‘masters’ and ‘quote them as ultimate truth. Since most of the concepts, ‘tenets’ and ‘doctrines’ of homeopathy still remain unverified in a scientific way, I need answers for ‘what-why-how” about them to satisfy my scientific mind. Dogmatic preachers and learners may find it difficult to follow or tolerate what I say about homeopathy. I beg to be excused.
According to my scientific approach, there are no unquestionable ‘basic tenets’ in homeopathy- as in any science. Accept nothing as ‘ultimate truth’, only because it was spoken by a ‘master’.
Learning Hahnemann does not mean merely reading and reciting Organon, Chronic Diseases, Materia Medica and other works written by him. We should read not only the printed lines, but read in between lines. I call it ‘Creative Reading’. Creating our ‘own’ ideas by reading what was written by hahnemann. We should use our ‘own’ brains, our ‘own’ logic, living in our ‘own’ space-time context. Do not be misguided by reading the works of ‘interpreters’, before you are ideologically well-equipped.
How should we learn the ‘master’ and his works?
1. Always keep abreast with modern scientific knowledge
Only by keeping ourselves armed with latest scientific knowledge as well as modern tools of scientific methods, we can identify what is scientific and what is unscientific in hahnemann’s theories and observations. Scientific world out look will keep us always on right path.
2. Read in between lines
Reading ‘in between lines’ means, understanding beyond the meaning of words we read.Readingis an interaction between the author and the reader. What is written in texts would reflect only fractions of author’s real thought process. Understanding his thought process is essential to grasp the real meaning of his words. There would be a lot of ideas lying hidden between lines, that could be read by an intelligent reader.
3. Creative Reading
’Creative reading’ involves the synthesis of new ideas through the process of reading, which were so far unknown to the reader and not said by the author. Here, reading becomes a creative process. Some ideas getting from the author acts like a spark that ignites the mind of reader, and leads to synthesis of new ideas. We should consciously build up a habit of ‘creative reading’.
4. Use our ‘own’ brains, our ‘own’ logic
We should “use our own brains, our own logic” while reading the works of hahnemann. Hahnemann is explaining his theories on the basis of his experiences and observations. He used his brain and his logic in doing so. We should ask ourselves ‘what-why-how’ of everything hahnemann said. This way of learning is called ‘dialectic’ learning, which is different from ‘dogmatic’ learning.
5. Live in our ‘own’ space-time context.
“Live in our ‘own’ space-time context”. Knowledge is evolving through space and time. Hahnemann was talking 250 years ago, sitting inGermany. That was his ‘space-time context’. He developed his concepts and theories utilizing the knowledge available to him in his ‘space-time context’. Human knowledge has evolved a lot there after. We know many things regarding phenomena of nature that hahnemann was not fortunate to know. Now we should learn hahnemann in the light of latest scientific knowledge available to us.
6. Do not be misguided by the works of ‘interpreters’
Do not be misguided by reading the works of interpreters. This is very important if you want to understand what hahnemann really said. Interpreters had done great damage to homeopathy and original teachings of hahnemann. Many people learn homeopathy using the books written by various authors who interpreted hahnemann’s teachings according to their whims and fancies. The most outstanding example is theory of miasms. IIf you read hahnemann’s ‘chronic diseases’ carefully, it would be very clear that hahnemann was talking about miasms as a ‘chronic disease dispositions caused by the infectious agents of itch, syphilis and gonorrhoea’. He did not hink about ‘miasms’ unrelated with ‘infectious materials’. But the interpreters made ‘miasmatic analysis a total mess, dragging even genetics and heridity into it. Now, most homeopaths learn ‘miasms’ from interpreters. We have lot of such examples where interpreters have totally misguided homeopathy. We should learn homeopathy from original works of hahnemann, using our own brains and logic, to keep ourselves not misguided.