What Were Homeopaths Thinking in 1939? (S4042)


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Hey hey! Welcome to 1M: a Homeopath’s Podcast,with episode 42.

I want to wish you a Happy New Year to you, wherever you are. I hope however you’ve spent the last month, whether celebrating holidays or not, you’ve gotten some of what you want, and more of what you need, with energy and inspiration for the year to come.

This year, 2019, will be the 4th year of the podcast. I mentioned in December that I was cooking up plans to make the podcast even better this year, and some of those plans are coming into focus.

The fall was particularly potent for me, as I know it has been for many of you who have been through the same experience I’ve in Karen Allen’s Start up to Stellar class.

Karen was my guest in episode 37, and little did I know how potent that conversation would turn out to be. The class has been profound for my own practice and stepping into myself as a professional homepath in a more decisive and solid way, *AND* that energy trickled into other aspects of my homeopathic life, like teaching and the podcast.

We all know that when you give a remedy, the thing you intend to effect is often just the tip of the iceberg. That feeling when a patient returns and says- yeah, my stomach is better but that’s not the 1/2 of it! and proceeds to tell you the other ways their life was impacted by taking the remedy.

That’s kind of been the effect of the work I’ve done this past fall.

So what does that mean for the podcast? Well, for one thing, an extra episode per month.

As much as I love doing interviews and talking with homeopaths around the world on their projects, publications and practices, I miss doing some of the creative work that inspired me to do the podcast in the first place.

If you’re a long time listener, or you’ve recently found the podcast and have caught up on old episodes from the first year, you’ll know that- like most homeopaths- i’m fond of history and archival readings, the repertory, philosophy and exploring materia medica in a creative way.

Unfortunately, with an hour interview, those elements have been cut out. The thing is, those elements are how I play with homeopathy, with ideas and connections, and continue to learn.

I intended to bring those elements to the podcast because I feel like it’s important to make learning and exploring visible, not to just share the results of the work, but to share the work itself- ideas not flushed out, kind of messy, a little bit of wondering and supposing.

So the extra episode each month I’m dubbing an ‘intercurrent’ episode, and it will be precisely that- a fun exploration into philosophy, materia medica repertory or history. Shorter- more like a 20-30 min. episode-

There will still be a long in depth interview each month as well, and who knows, maybe every now and then, a bonus episode.

This episode- 42- is one of those intercurrents. In 2 weeks, I have a great interview with Joerg Wichman, the creator of provings.info- if you arent’ aware of it, check it out, it’s one of the best resources out there for homeopaths with regards to provings.

So as I thought about what I wanted to bring on for today, I kept going back to the idea of it being January, the new year.

In anycase, I’m a sucker for new beginnings, intentions, thinking about things full circle.

You know those articles or bits in the newspaper that say- ‘this day in history’ and then give a report of what happened around the world on this very day 20 years ago, 50 years ago, 100 years ago.

I thought we can do that! There have been over 200 January’s, over 200 New Years since Homeopathy’s inception.

What was happening on any given January, 50 years ago? 75 years ago?

The Homeopathic Recorder in 1939, which was 80 years ago- and I counted decades on my fingers to get that. you know, turning over to the new millennium and starting back at 0 can be confusing- published a number of articles that jumped out at me, in both their similarity to our current state, and in their differences-

Boericke presented a paper titled- Homeopathy in the Spotlight of Today-

He proceeds to outline a set of philosophic points of homeopathy via Kent, in particular, and how modern medicine- that is of 1939- has either come into some agreement about it, or is still divergent. So in a sense he’s doing what I’m doing, using Kent’s observations and philosophy as his historical benchmark, as I’m using this article.

It’s like a nesting doll of comparisons.

Kent asserts that there are NO principles in regular medicine, and that in their study of diseases by ultimates the gap between the two schools is made. The present day medical scientist is still studying ultimates although the trend toward the study of the sick individual is coming to the fore. Further, one notes that observations of perverted physiology in disease is assuming an importance hitherto unknown. But in general the lack of a law for the study of the cure of disease makes todays research still empirical experimentation.

What’s interesting to me about this, is that homeopathy has not changed in this regard, and the ‘old school’ to keep the term, has changed, though not so much in a direction that brings them closer to homeopathy. Certainly diagnoses are made on the finding of ultimates, though genetic research has emerged since the time of this writing, and in my mind, it’s still about ultimates, but looking for the evidence that will foretell a future ultimate.

Boericke goes on to say:

The "old school" yet allows no distinction between cure and recovery as done in Hahnemannian circles. Likewise, the relationship of suppression to later disease pictures has made little headway to date. The external treatment of eruptions, discharges and perspiration is still part and parcel of orthodox treatment. Unfortunately, outside of purely clinical assumptions we have no material proof to bear out our knowledge of the ill effect of suppression. We can hardly expect an "old school" man to take our word for it against what he has been taught.

Despite advances in research, I thought this observation still rings true. Doctors are still prescribing drugs and treatments that ultimately suppress, and the concept of suppression and the relationship of one set of symptoms to the next does not inform their treatment.

Another point:

Perusal of Kents chapter on what is curable in disease and medicine makes doubly clear to us that the values therein cannot be appreciated by science today since it has no standard whereby a differentiation between cure and recovery is possible. Undoubtedly, our finer prescribers can realize these delicate shadings which confront one in difficult cases. However, experience dictates that the majority of Hahnemannian homoeopaths, as a group, expect too much of homoeopathic remedies in fatal or incurable cases. At least, modern medicine has given as prognostic knowledge of great accuracy and it should help those confronted with this problem to distinguish those cases calling for symptomatic relief from those still within the curative realm

This I also found to be interesting- the observation that science has no distinction between recovery and cure. This is true- is an organ replacement a cure? Is remission from cancer via chemotherapy and radiation a cure? As homeopaths, we would not agree, and yet allopathy would herald these as major victories and cure. And his second point, that homeopaths expect too much fatal or incurable cases, I found to be astute. We can be prone to believing that anything is possible with similars. It’s in our own realm, then, to look honestly at a case and see potential for palliation vs. cure. and a patients prognosis can be of great aid in these situations. This came up recently in a repertory lesson I was preparing for students, about how homeopaths can use diagnosis to our advantage, such as end-stage conditions.

A shift we might agree on from 1939 and now would be this observation:

An amusing note in this connection is given us by Kent. He predicates that no cure of chronic disease is possible in man or woman employing contraception. We wonder what modern homoeopaths would subscribe to this. It would be our thought that the cure of many women would be impossible so long as the fear of repeated pregnancies was not removed through adequate knowledge of this subject.

In 1939, the Pill was not a thing. Hormonal birth control was not rampant as it is today. Enough of us have seen the sequelae of hormonal birth control to throw in our hat with Kent, that cure of a chronic condition may be impossible so long as such methods are being used. However, Kent’s assertion of more philosophical, and like Boericke, I would be curious of any modern homeopaths a’la 2019 would agree that chronic disease cannot be cured if a non-drug, hormonal, or implant devise is being used for contraception- such as a condom.

Progressive thinkers, those homeopaths of 1939!

I’ll wrap up the commentary on this article, which of course has so many more observations, with the comments from the esteemed colleagues- Dr. Grimmer, and Dr. Dixon. Comments which indeed could have been made in our own time:

DR. GRIMMER: The paper was a very fine presentation of the facts, but if the Doctor can only tell us how we can put this thing over to the "old school" we might get a little farther along. The methods of reasoning and the concepts of the old school minds are such that they can hardly take up with our finer concepts of things. The "old school" refuses to believe anything that their crude fingers can't touch or their ultramicroscopic eyes can't see, and homoeopathy begins only beyond the ken of those things.

DR. DIXON: It seems to me that the way to convert the allopaths is to show them the difference between homoeopathy and allopathy. It seems to me that the aim of the allied and kindred societies is to try always to correlate homoeopathy with allopathy. It is entirely different, and I think we miss the biggest selling point we have trying to correlate our treatments with so-called modern medicine. If we would emphasize the difference and make it outstanding, as it was fifty years ago, we would get somewhere. We are different; we have to admit it.

DR. BOERICKE: In answer to Dr. Grimmer, I don't know how to answer his question because I dont know how to put it over. It is a great problem. We only hope that something will come up gradually that will enable general medicine as a whole to appreciate homoeopathy. It does seem time when we had something such as we have got that is not universally practiced, but how to accomplish that I dont know any more than Dr. Grimmer or the rest of us.


Finally, I invite you to be a part of an upcoming interview and join me in the first 1M podcast community Read-a-Long!

When Emryss sponsored the episode with Viktoria Bodrogi, Olivier asked me if I was interested in any of their other books. I chose Jerry Kantor's Autism Reversal Toolbox

Jerry agreed to come on the show for an interview, and I thought rather than just read the book myself and do the interview, I would open it up to the community, we can read it together in a group and I can take your comments and questions about the book to the interview. The effect will be more of a community dialogue, rather than a solo interview.

You can order the book through Emryss or Nature-Reveals using the discount code: PC at checkout for 10% off.

Join the private Facebook group that I'll be setting up for the Read-a-long discussion. Participate with your questions and comments, which I'll bring to my interview with Jerry.

I hope you join me!

144 episode