Homoeopathy as a Reflection of the Macrocosm
Homoeopathy is essentially a therapeutic system for administering drugs which stimulate the body’s vital force to cure illness. It uses a set of principles developed almost 200 years ago by a man called Samuel Hahnemann. He is considered the founder of Homoeopathy as a healing art. I shall endeavour to show that these principles generally considered to be nine in number reflect universal principles. As such they form a complete, integrated system for restoring the sick to health. A human being is not an accidental event, he is brought forth, created, formed and made. He is therefore bound by the laws of existence yet able to partake of all four worlds. Homoeopathy acknowledges the different levels in man, while recognising that healing must conform to these principles of existence.
Using the maxim “as above so below” the microcosm (man) must reflect the macrocosm. On the physical level the body obeys the law of nature. On the psychological level the psyche permeates the physical body immersing the organism in that watery world of shifting and subtle symbols. The spiritual and divine aspect of man also follows the laws appropriate to those worlds. In general the upper two worlds are beyond the everyday practice of the homoeopath. Within the context of “restoring the sick to health” the nine fundamental principles of Homoeopathy relate to the laws of the psychological and natural worlds (Yezirah and Assiyah). They lay a foundation and allow for observation under law.
Because we are dealing with principles I am placing them on the Psychological Tree. Following the lightening flash of existence I will begin at the Keter of Yezirah. Here is the beginning of life with form and substance. I have placed SUSCEPTIBILITY on this sefirah which resonates with the world of Beriah and the world of Azilut. This is one of the fundamental attributes of life. It reflects the uniqueness of the individual. Action and reaction in the medical and physiological sense takes place only in the living organism and that depends on that attribute of life we call susceptibility. It implies and includes affinity, attraction, desire, hunger and need. These all exist and express themselves normally as states and conditions in every living being. The very nature of susceptibility implies the existence of the wherewithal to satisfy susceptibility. To supply need. To satisfy hunger and desire. To attract affinities. Demand is always consistent with universal law. The only thing that satisfies susceptibility is the symptomatically similar medicine. We are made ill only when our organism is sufficiently disposed.
The next most significant principal is THE VITAL FORCE which is universal energy as it manifests in living beings. I place this at Hokhmah at the top of the right hand pillar, because now we are dealing with a continually inflowing impulse. The Vital force converts energy from its surroundings to nourish the organism. This allows the body to maintain myriads of interlocking biological systems in working order. The idea of the lightening flash of existence is that it is an impulse, a process of the divine will that continually maintains the four worlds. The energy that holds us together is the same energy that maintains time and timelessness. Because it gives form and identity to all life it is subject to changes, which to a large extent are observed or even created by man himself through the operation of his will and understanding.
The third principle to complete the upper triad is MIASMS. It is a collective name for the underlying patterns of illness. This is placed at Binah because it relates to understanding. To the recognition of recurring phenomena. This is the point where disease originates. Understanding the development of disease on the racial level is one way to gain insights into the blocks to cure on the individual level. Miasms are a tool to help us understand the nature of disease that goes hand in hand with the progression of humanity on a transpersonal level. The further back we can trace the cause the greater our understanding will be. Hahnemann recognised three miasms. Each in it’s own way leading to disease. Underfunction or limitation (Left pillar malfunctions). In the physical world the skin eruption that itches. Overproduction or excess (Right pillar malfunctions). It’s manifestation is catarrhal discharge, warts, tumours. Lastly, degeneration and destruction (Middle pillar malfunctions). Physically, the virulent open ulcer. Psychological and physical self destruction. The top triad of the Yeziriatic tree resonates directly with the world of Beriah, so it is not surprising that these three principles of Susceptibility, Vital Force and Miasms all deal with dynamic forces and are inextricably linked.
With the next principle TOTALITY OF SYMPTOMS we are moving into the world of psychology and nature, into the realm of observation. Here we get everything that is essential to the disease. This represents the disease in the natural world. These are the symptoms that we see and feel. On the practical level it is what enables the homoeopath to individualise between diseases and between remedies. The entire representation of a disease is the totality of symptoms and the entire representation of a drug is the totality of symptoms. This is a pattern by which the nature of the sickness can be perceived.
For example with the disease we call measles, one child is irritable, intensely thirsty, dislikes interference especially being moved. Another craves affection, is weepy and is thirstless during the height of the fever. It is known that Bryonia is capable of evoking in health the kind of reaction of the first child and Pulsatilla that of the second child.
The removal of the totality of symptoms results in cure on the physical level and restoration of the dynamic balance at a higher level. The next principle, at Gevurah, is THE LAW OF CURE. This sets out the parameters whereby it can be recognised that cure is taking place in a definite orderly manner and direction. Normal vital processes begin at the centre and proceed outwardly. Therefore it could be said that life is a centrifugal force, concentrating and organizing spirit into matter from above downward. In the same sense disease is a centripetal force, opposing, obstructing penetrating towards the centre and tending to disorganization. Bearing this principle of nature in mind it is possible to recognise that curative medicines reinforce the life force and annihilate the disease. The order of cure will also be apparent. Symptoms disappear from above downward, from within outward and in the reverse order of their appearance. This reflects the hierarchical nature of the universe and its inherent order.
The curative properties and action of the homoeopathic remedy are governed by its preparation and application. In other words the quality of the action of a homoeopathic remedy is determined by it’s quantity. This brings us to the triad of principles that relate to the natural. The principle of similars or “like cures like” was of no practical use until the related principle of POTENTIZATION (law of least action or minimum dose) was discovered. This I place at Nezah because through potentization the latent kinetic energy of the substance is released. Hahnemann. discovered that when substances were finely ground in a mortar with sugar of milk they developed surprising powers. When poisons and other medicinal substances in liquid form were diluted in a special manner, they alsodeveloped hidden powers, while losing their gross material properties. He discovered that they were no longer bound by the chemical laws of our physical world. The curative power became more potent. The doctrine of dosage like the law of cure was based on the discovery of the opposite action of large and small doses of medicine. The proper dose is always the least possible dose which will affect a cure. We don’t want to break down the Vital Force by a powerful drug. We prefer to stimulate a natural reaction.
Between the world of material substance and the world of the psyche there is a resonance. Hod is the sefirah of communication and reverberation. The LAW OF SIMILARS or to put it another way that which makes sick shall heal, is the principle that acknowledges this. At this point imbalances in the psyche can turn into physical suffering. Through pure experience and careful observation Hahnemann came to the conclusion that a weaker dynamic affection is permanently extinguished in the living organism by a stronger one, if the latter (whilst differing in kind) is very similar to the former in its manifestation. He noted that the drug which cured was capable of producing symptoms similar to those which it cured. This was true on all planes and under all circumstances. An example of this is frostbite. Anyone who has been in arctic conditions knows that the best way of dealing with a frostbitten extremity is to rub snow on it. Frostbite was caused by cold. The further cold application stimulates the body into increasing circulation to warm the affected part. Like cures like.
The principle of PROVING I have placed at Yesod, because Yesod is directly connected with the thoughts feelings and actions of a person. The totality of our vital essence expresses itself through our personality. These are the areas of action that a medicinal drug first affects. Proving a drug in the Homoeopathic sense involves the systematic testing of drugs on normal healthy people. No drug can act curatively except by its ability to effect changes, for example its effect on the thoughts, feelings, actions and will of a person. In order that drug effects can be matched to symptoms produced by the vital force it is necessary to know what symptoms they are capable of producing.
The final principle which relates to the material world is SINGLE DOSE. A homoeopath is trying to match his patient to the most likely remedy and it follows that the patient should resemble closely only one remedy at a time. Remedy is the term we use when we have proved a substance has medicinal powers and prepared it in order to release its energy.
Homoeopathy has an ideal which is to effect a safe, rapid, permanent cure by gentle means. True health is a positive dynamic state in which the individual experiences a feeling of well being and is full of energy, enthusiasm, joy and creativity. In other words he is in a position to fulfil the destiny for which he was brought forth, created formed and made.
© Diane McDonald