Unfortunately it is a fact that most homoeopaths are but poorly acquainted with Hahnemann’s Organon. Yet, there is no doubt that this is the single most important work on the subject, providing the very basis upon which a truly in-depth study of its single foundation principle (Similia) and its application must begin. The Organon remains largely unstudied and even ignored reveals the real agony of our institutions and teachers charged with training future generations of homoeopaths.
It is expected from the article to encourage those who still feel the flame of conviction for orthodox Homoeopathy, to revisit its most basic source, to make it their serious and continued study, and to thereby realize its full relevance and unmatched genius. Hahnemann himself was annoyed at those who were too lazy to carefully read his directions in Organon.
“Many persons of my acquaintance but half converted to homoeopathy have repeatedly begged me to publish still more exact directions as to how this doctrine may be actually applied in practice, and how we are to proceed. I am astonished that after the very particular directions contained in the Organon of Medicine more especial instructions can be wished for.”
“I am also asked, ‘How are we to examine the disease in each particular case?’ As if special enough directions were not to be found in the book just mentioned.”
CMF Von Bonninghausen, Hahnemann’s most respected and trusted student and colleague, stated the following with regard to the general neglect of Organon:
“It seems actually at present to be a rarity and an exception when any homoeopath again consults the “Organon of Healing,” and I know several individuals who do not even possess, and have never read, this book and yet it is indisputably the basis of the homoeopathic healing art, and besides so many valuable grains of gold are enclosed within it that at every repetition of the reading of this remarkable book, especially when read by the older practicing and experienced homoeopathic physicians, ever new and important instruction and intelligence may be gained, so that its neglect cannot be too sharply reproved.”
DR. J. T. KENT himself gives the following comments on the Organon:
To learn the Materia Medica, one must master Hahnemann’s Organon, after which the symptomatology, and a full repertory must be the constant reference books, if careful homoeopathic prescribing is to be attained and maintained.
THE GREAT ADOLPH LIPPE made it a rule to read Organon once a year and he said that every time he discovered something that he had not observed before. Those sections which describe the examination of patients should be more especially studied, for your Repertories and Materia Medicas will avail you little if you do not examine your patients as Hahnemann teaches.” A thorough understanding of the Organon of medicine is indeed essential to its most effective application in each and every case of illness.
DR. J. N. KANJILAL, who taught himself Homoeopathy (after his allopathic medical training), since it provides interesting guidelines for those of us in a similar position where (at the present time at least) a proper, comprehensive, high-level institutional training in Homoeopathy is mostly unavailable.
Dr.Kanjilal has very well stated the method which he himself utilized in his self-education in Homoeopathy. He has advised three steps relating to the study of Organon:
- “In the first reading every word of every aphorism together with its footnotes must be read very carefully with meticulous attention to the commas, semicolons etc., as well as the parentheses. Never be satisfied until the whole meaning of the aphorism with its logic and connotation becomes quite clear. In this reading, of course, the whole book, beginning from its name to the last line of the Appendix must be read thoroughly.”
- “In the second reading each aphorism should be read in the context of the whole Organon including the Appendix as given in the 5th Edition, translated by Dudgeon. Before starting the second reading a thorough perusal of the “Contents” of the same book, as given just after the preface to the Fifth Edition should be given. This will help greatly in forming an idea of the arrangements of the different topics taught in the book.
- After that, while reading any aphorism, other aphorisms dealing with the same point should be reperoused. For example: The phrase accessory circumstances occur in aphorisms 5, 7 and 94; an accessory symptom of the remedy occurs in 163, 167, 180 and 181; an accessory symptom of the disease occurs in 5, 7 and 95; and so on. All these groups of aphorisms should be read together, so that the whole sense of the theme becomes quite clear.”
“After these two thorough personal readings, this book should most advantageously be read in a study circle of friends and colleagues who has already done minimum two readings of the book. Each member of the study circle should try to explain his grasp on each of the aphorisms according to his understanding and sense of logic. In this way by mutual debate, all the points will become more and more clear and more deeply comprehended.”
DR. B. K. SARKAR says Hahnemann’s Organon is not just a small book on homoeopathic philosophy, but a treatise on the application of scientific reasoning to the practice of medicine.
“Hahnemann’s Organon is a critique of medical philosophy underlying the art of medicine. Analytical studies of Organon as well as that of the history of Homoeopathy and the life-story of its founder show clearly that Homoeopathy is a product of inductive logic applied to the subject of Medicine. It is in fact the first as well as one of the most brilliant examples of the application of the inductive method of reasoning to the solution of one of the great problems of humanity viz., the treatment and cure of disease.”
From the very beginning of my own acquaintance with Homoeopathy (1998), I made Organon the subject of my focus, since, as I could understand it, Hahnemann’s views could most accurately be ascertained from Hahnemann himself, even allowing for difficulties of translation. Through my teachings with Organon, I have heard students lament the difficulties of its language, and I of course assured them that its study becomes easier and easier the more often it is consulted and read carefully.
Let it not be assumed that Organon is merely a theoretical treatise – indeed it is the distillation of Hahnemann’s constant thoughts and significant experiences in the practice of medicine, into a highly condensed expression of a methodical and practical application of his discovery of a single and general therapeutic principle (similars) to the clinical situation for the specific purpose of healing the sick, in the simplest, most gentle and reliable manner.
Boenninghausen clearly understood this, and through its constant study, gained such mastery of the art, and Hahnemann’s confidence to such a degree, that Hahnemann made the following declaration:
“…Baron von Bonninghausen of Munster has studied and grasped my homoeopathic system of treatment so thoroughly that as a homoeopath he deserves to be fully trusted, and if I should fall ill and be unable to help myself I would not entrust myself to any other physician.”
Lastly, I would recommend this work to the study of all homoeopaths, both student and teacher, and suggest it is never too late to return to it’s pages, to study and examine each aphorism carefully, and in context with what Hahnemann had written earlier (HLW); remember, Bönninghausen was 43 years of age when he undertook its study, and look how much he accomplished!
A patient comes to you with any disease e.g. Eczema or Migraine or Depression; we should put in Hahnemann’s Classification of the disease and I always go through relevant aphorism as per the case presentation. This will help us to decide our line of treatment, posology, do & don’t to prescribing for a particular case etc. It will solve many doubts from our mind. Totality of the symptoms is the best way to prescribe but handling & maintaing the simillimum can only be judge if we understand the reaction of the vital force following the administration of 1st prescription.
What we need to do is not to mug up the aphorism but check its applicability in each case, case per case & I am sure you will come to know its trustworthiness.
Dr.Krutik Shah MD(Hom), D.IACH (Greece)
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