Learning Organon With A Scientific And Rational Perspective- Aphorism 17
Read Organon : Aphorism 17 : Sixth Edition
“Now, as in the cure effected by the removal of the whole of the perceptible signs and symptoms of the disease the internal alteration of the vital principle to which the disease is due – consequently the whole of the disease – is at the same time removed,1 it follows that the physician has only to remove the whole of the symptoms in order, at the same time, to abrogate and annihilate the internal change, that is to say, the morbid derangement of the vital force – consequently the totality of the disease, the disease itself.2 But when the disease is annihilated the health is restored, and this is the highest, the sole aim of the physician who knows the true object of his mission, which consists not in learned – sounding prating, but in giving aid to the sick.
Foot note1: A warning dream, a superstitious fancy, or a solemn prediction that death would occur at a certain day or at a certain hour, has not unfrequently produced all the signs of commencing and increasing disease, of approaching death and death itself at the hour announced, which could not happen without the simultaneous production of the inward change (corresponding to the state observed internally); and hence in such cases all the morbid signs indicative of approaching death have frequently been dissipated by an identical cause, by some cunning deception or persuasion to a belief in the contrary, and health suddenly restored, which could not have happened without the removal, by means of this mortal remedy, of the internal and external morbid change that threatened death.
Foot note 2: It is only thus that God the preserver of mankind, could reveal His wisdom and goodness in reference to the cure of the disease to which man is liable here below, by showing to the physician what he had to remove in disease in order to annihilate them and thus re-establish health. But what would we think of His wisdom and goodness if He has shrouded in mysterious obscurity that which was to be cured in diseases (as is asserted by the dominant school of medicine, which affects to possess a supernatural insight into the nature of things), and shut it up in the hidden interior, and thus rendered it impossible for man to know the malady accurately, consequently impossible for him to cure it?”
POINTS TO BE NOTED:
Cure is effected by the removal of the “whole of the perceptible signs and symptoms” of the disease.
“internal alteration of the vital principle (understand as vital processes) to which the disease is due”, and “consequently the whole of the disease” will be removed once “the whole of the perceptible signs and symptoms” are removed.
“to abrogate and annihilate” the “internal change”, we have only to remove the “whole of the perceptible signs and symptoms”.
“when the disease is annihilated the health is restored, and this is the highest, the sole aim of the physician”.
“whole of the perceptible signs and symptoms” shows the physician what he had to remove in disease in order to annihilate them and thus re-establish health.
Listen, hahnemann does not merely say “symptoms”- he says “whole of the perceptible signs and symptoms of disease”. It is obvious that he wanted to say something more comprehensive than that could be conveyed by the word “symptoms”.
SYMPTOMS+ PERCEPTIBLE SIGNS. NOT SYMPTOMS ALONE. That is what he said. PERCEPTIBLE SIGNS OF DISEASE covers everything that could be PERCEIVED about the INTERNAL DERANGEMENT underlying the disease. In modern context, it includes EVERYTHING that could be perceived about disease, with the help of modern instruments and TECHNOLOGIES that work as extensions of our SENSE ORGANS. Our PERCEPTION of SIGNS of diseases changes and becomes more and more deeper, accurate and comprehensive as modern science and technology advances.
I want to make a point here regarding the importance of studying aphorisms of organon in a way fitting to modern scientific knowledge context.
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