As I have mentioned in other posts, I have been focussed on using homeopathy for quite a long time. You can understand that with this experience one comes to see things differently. The homeopathic view is almost the opposite of what we may call the conventional medical system, or what we homeopaths refer to as the allopathic system.
The allopathic view of patient and disease is that these two things are separate. There is the patient which is a physical being and the disease which is some external agent or infuence. The emphasis, then, is to identify that disease condition which affected the physical body so that, once known, an approved means of counter-acting it will be used. Another way to say this is that the treatment will be something that counter-acts the perceived symptoms and this counter-action is based on the use of drugs or surgery that directly blocks the expression of that problem. It could be an antibiotic, an anti-inflammatory drug, a hormone, etc. Surgery is a similar method in that the unwanted physical change is removed from the body by that method. Granted there are some health conditions that are not ascribed to an external agent in the usual sense but more to the wearing out of parts like with arthritis. However, even here, the idea is to block the symptoms that are expressing. You see, there is not the idea that these health issues cannot be cured in the sense of the person (or animal) being brought back to their previously healthy state. Even the use of the word cure is frowned upon.
The homeopathic view is based on the initial discovery, by Dr. Samuel Hahneman, that what we call disease is not caused by an external agent but rather a change in the condition of the patient at the level of what he called “the life force.” This means that disease is not physical but is a disturbance on what we might more familiarly call the energetic level. In today’s culture we can equate this to addressing the quantum vacuum from which all observed forms manifest. Dr. Hahnemann discovered that if a substance (herb, mineral, animal product) was given to this sick patient that was already know to be able to cause a very similar disturbance it acted as a stimulus and brought about return of health. So the medicines used in homeopathy are used differently than the allopathic drugs.
- Remedies bring about a condition in the patient similar (though not exact) to what is observed in their unhealthly state.
- Becauses of their ability to do this, the individual patient is very sensitive to them so they are given in very small doses and usually much repeated.
- The remedies are never used to, in any way, block or tinterfere with the symptoms of the patient.
- The choice of remedy to used is based on a direct observation of the condition of that individual, never on the idea of diagnosis (which is considered an erroneous concept).
In the story that follows you might be able to see what I am talking about here. It is the story of the contrast between the allopathic system and the homeopathic – and an interestinsg outcome.
The “Disease Entity”
During the third week of August 1991, my 80-year-old father was hospitalized in New York. A few months earlier, he had been put on dialysis. The doctor had assured him that the inconvenience of having dialysis three times a week and having the rest of the time to live a full life was a better alternative than dying of renal failure.
He was hospitalized after he experienced extreme weakness, confusion, and a rapid decay of his mental faculties. I was joined by my brothers, and we prepared for the worst. The hardest part, for me, was the unbelievable interaction with the mind of conventional medicine. The renal specialist (who was a kindly soul— one of the few encountered), told us that they “have not yet diagnosed a disease entity.” And there, in a nutshell, is the problem. In conventional thinking, you must know what’s wrong before you can treat. They stood helpless as they tried to find something to treat. They did blood tests, Doppler tests, and CAT scans. They called in a neurologist (perhaps Dad’s confusion was neurologic in nature). He wanted to do a spinal tap to check for a rare strain of meningitis. He also checked for Lyme disease.
The neurologist was a picture of everything I fear in a physician. We were unable to reach him by phone, and his visits to my father’s room were less than three minutes long. He was always on the run. My brother, who coordinates emergency medical service in the rural area in which he lives, asked if he could meet the doctor to discuss what might be happening. “Are you a doctor?” he was asked. “No,” replied my brother. “Then we don’t have anything to talk about,” said the neurologist.
They called in a psychiatrist to determine my father’s mental state. Maybe they could find something wrong there that they could treat. Perhaps a psychosis or a delusional state. I arrived at the hospital with a kit of (homeopathic) remedies and a Repertory (the reference guide that enables one to choose the appropriate remedy). I was in touch, by phone, with several experienced medical homeopaths. I remembered the words of Kent (historically a famous and admired homeopathic practitioner and teacher): It is not up to the physician to determine if an illness is incurable. Take the case, give the remedy, let the vital force sort it out.
I was prepared for my father’s death. In the next three days, I gave him three remedies. I put them in his drinking water. Each day his symptoms changed, and the remedy selection changed with them. On the fourth day he was able to recognize us and have snippets of a lucid conversation. Within a week he was wondering why he was in the hospital. The doctors never found anything to treat. They were baffled by his sudden decline, and equally baffled by his recovery.
He continued to have some problems after his release, and I took him to a local homeopath who prescribed with a detachment I could not have. My father, though far from being in perfect health, is now functioning fairly well. In this age of modern medicine, with its tests and machines, I thought about the times past— when people understood that there was a process in life that began at birth and ended at death, and that death was a part of the whole. Instead of trying to freeze the person in life (i.e., to keep the person’s body alive at all costs), they accepted that the end does come to all. And what do you do when you are faced with an elderly man who is, apparently, running out of life? Yo u give him the proper remedy and trust the vital force. It never lets either of you down.