Defining ‘Disease’ And ‘Cure’- How To Study Aphorisms With A Scientific Perspective
In Aphorism 8, Hahnemann defines what is meant by CURE:
Read Organon Aphorism 8:
“It is not conceivable, nor can it be proved by any experience in the world, that, after removal of all the symptoms of the disease and of the entire collection of the perceptible phenomena, there should or could remain anything else besides health, or that the morbid alteration in the interior could remain uneradicated.
Foot note:- When a patient has been cured of his disease by a true physician, in such a manner that no trace of the disease, no morbid symptom, remains, and all the signs of health have permanently returned, how can anyone, without offering an insult to common sense, affirm in such an individual the whole bodily disease still remains interior? And yet the chief of the old school, Hufeland, asserts this in the following words: Homoeopathy can remove symptoms, but the disease remains. (Vide Homoopathie, p.27, 1, 19.) This he maintains partly from mortification at the progress made by homoeopathy to the benefits of mankind, partly because he still holds thoroughly material notions respecting disease, which he is still unable to regard as a state of being of the organism wherein it is
dynamically altered by the morbidly deranged vital force, as an altered state of health, but he views the disease as a something material, which after the cure is completed, may still remain lurking in some corner in the interior of the body, in order, some day during the most vigorous health, to burst forth at its pleasure with its material presence! So dreadful is still the blindness of the old pathology! No wonder that it could only produce a system of therapeutics which is solely occupied with scouring out the poor patient.”
POINTS TO BE NOTED:
1. DISEASE is “morbid alteration in the interior”
2. DISEASE is a “a state of being of the organism wherein it is
dynamically altered by the morbidly deranged vital force”
3. DISEASE is “an altered state of health”
4. HAHNEMANN does not agree with the view that “disease as a something material”.
5. Cure is “removal of all the symptoms of the disease and of the entire collection of the perceptible phenomena”
6. CURE is a state where “no trace of the disease, no morbid symptom, remains, and all the signs of health have permanently returned”
Hahnemann was actually criticizing the “blindness” of “OLD PATHOLOGY” that existed during his time, which considered disease as a “material object” that “remain lurking in some corner in the interior of the body”, which should be “scoured out the poor patient” using blood-letting, emetics, cathartics and mercurials.
While criticizing the view of “old pathology” which perceived “disease as a something material”, hahnemann actually meant that “disease is not a material object”. But he failed to understand the difference between “material object” and “material process”. Scientifically, “life as well as disease are material processes”- not “material objects”. There is a big difference between these two perspectives.
Even though hahnemann rightly observed the “blindness of pathology”, he failed to understand diseases as “molecular level material processes”, due to the limitations of scientific knowledge available to him during his period. Modern BIOCHEMISTRY had not even evolved. With in his historical context, only way he could explain DISEASE was in terms of “dynamically deranged vital force”. Influence of unscientific philosophy of ‘dynamism’ upon hahnemann is evident here. In modern scientific knowledge environment, such a philosophy is not at all worthy for a scientific debate.
In the light of modern scientific knowledge, we should change hahnemann’s definition of DISEASE from “deranged vital force” into “deranged vital processes”, to make it clear that disease is basically nothing but a molecular level ‘material’ derangement of ‘processes”. Such a change is essential step in scientific updating of homeopathy in a way to agree with modern scientific understanding of life, disease and cure. Actually, we have to agree with his statement “disease is morbid alteration in the interior”, understanding it in present context as “morbid alteration of molecular processes in the interior”
Same time, in its broadest meaning, Hahnemann’s definition of CURE as “removal of all the symptoms of the disease and of the entire collection of the perceptible phenomena” and “all the signs of health have permanently returned” still remains valid, as the “entire collection of the perceptible phenomena” includes the removal of ALL the molecular level errors in vital processes that could be verified by modern scientific equipments and procedures. It should be particularly noted that hahnemann does not stop by saying merely “removal of all symptoms”, probably to ensure that it should not be interpreted as superflous symptoms only. “All the signs of health have permanently returned” is an all’inclusive definition of CURE as a “permanent” return into an IDEAL state of health, which practically impossible to happen . In modern context, these “signs” include all verifiable physiological parameters of health.
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