... continued from last issue
Then we come back to the next qualifier and that is 'permanent'. The restoration of health has to be permanent for it to be called a cure. Permanent means lasting or remaining without essential change something that is for ever. So once you reach down the health there should be no relapses of the condition, if you relieve the patient of all the complaints but the complaints come back after sometime in varying degrees then it is palliation not cure. The whole conventional medicine is geared towards palliation and suppression and this focus on cure alone takes homoeopathy indifferently. But what do you mean by a permanent restoration, does it mean that once you cure a person he or she will never fall sick again. Once you cure a patient with depression or ovarian cyst he will never catch he will never catch flu again. Once you care a flu in person you he will never get the flu again in his life. No, even after you cure a person the person may come down with occasional acutes because even relatively healthy people can catch a flu or a bug at times however they usually resolve quickly without any complications.
Another related question is, is the permanent cure unconditional; to answer this we first have to understand the difference between the relapse and the recurrence. If a disease condition comes back soon or annually after stopping the treatment then it is more slightly a relapse. If a patient says, Doctor I was better while I was taking the medicines, I even stayed well for a few days after I stopped the medicines but now I again seems to be getting my old symptoms back. It usually means that the medicine just palliated and the cure was not complete; therefore it is a relapse. But if while under a treatment the patient improves physically, mentally and emotionally and stays in that way for a very long time after discontinuing the treatment it is usually an indicator of a cure. If you cure a person with malaria or typhoid or any other illness and the next year if the person comes down again with that again, it does not mean that the cure was not complete last time, unless you are treating a disease which has for annual recurrence, say Hay fever. Many people say that if your vital force is healthy you will never catch up back; but I personally feel that is not true. An acute infection usually depends not only on the vitality of the person but also on the virulence of the affecting organism. If a virus or bacteria is too virulent, any one even a healthy person can come down with a sickens. Same goes for chronic illness, chronic illnesses are usually precipitated the tendency usually pre exists from chronic stress which can be either physical, mental or emotional. After you cure a person it is the person's responsibility to maintain his health. If the person again starts taking in unhealthy diet, adopts in unhealthy lifestyle or comes under similar mental and emotional influences which initiated the disease process initially he or she may have a recurrence of the similar condition. So the cure is not unconditional, once the health has been restored, it is the person's responsibility to ensure that the state is maintained.
Let me give you another example to clarify this; suppose you worn a nice car and you meet with an accident because you were driving rashly which would be the pre existing tendency or someone hit you even though you were driving alright, which we can say is the virulence of the bug or the circumstances. Having met with the accident, you want to take the car to the mechanic, in this case a homoeopath. The mechanic sets everything right; removes the dense, paints all those scratches polishes everything and the car is now apparently as good as new. But once the mechanic hands over the car again, Is it his responsibility that you would not meet with an accident again? No if you drive carelessly again you can still meet with an accident. Some one can still hit you even if you have done nothing wrong on your side. With every recurrence, it becomes difficult for the mechanic to bring the car in its original state and the repair works starts showing plus with the long use there is going to be wear and tear of the parts that is age related problems. If you do not use the car for a long periods; that is no exercise physical as well as mental the battery is going to die and there is going to be some problem in starting the car every time. If do not get the car serviced regularly and put an good quality oil, the importance which reflects the importance of diet and nutrition there is going to be more wear and tear in your car. So be it the health of your car or your body, it depends upon you, not just your physician; the cure is never unconditional.
Now we move on to the next part that is the annihilation of the disease, many people will say, Hey Hahnemann is speaking or treating diseases. What happen to the holistic approach and the individualization? But Hahnemann always puts qualifiers at just the right places for such people. Here also he says annihilation of the disease in its whole extent; what is this whole extent. For Hahnemann disease was not just an entity, it was a process. And curing a disease means reversing the whole process in such a way that not just the infection or the pathology disappears, but the patient gets back to his or her optimum health. Hahnemann has used another set of words to hold on the idea of ideal cure and these words are shortest, reliable and harmless. Shortest is synonymous with rapid and as such needs no further explanation. Most harmless or least disadvantageous stands as a clarification for gentle. But the words most reliable seem to be different, what is reliable; reliable means trustworthy, dependable. When does a person or an object becomes reliable; when you know that it will not fail easily. In homoeopathic terms, it means that the cure will be reliable if there is no relapse. So reliable is also used in a sense similar to permanent. But reliable has another dictionary meaning too and that is yielding the same or compatible results in different clinical experiments or statistical trials. So we extend the definition of reliable here, we come to the conclusion that the cure should not just be permanent, it should be done through a mode in a way which is reproducible too.
Now we come to the tricky part of the aphorism and that is the last words on easily comprehensible principles or according to clearly realizable principles. What was the need for this why; why Hahnemann wrote this? Here Hahneman was not just thinking about curing a particular patient, here he has widened the scope of his words to cover all patients. His last words of this aphorism reflect his thoughts about Homoeopathy as a system. For him medicine in general and Homoeopathy in particular was not just an art but also a science. And every science is based on certain rules, laws and principles. Without any sort of rules there can be no uniformity; no standards; there can be no reliability. Hahnemann wanted that the benefits of the real medicine should reach each and every patient and for this to happen there has to be some sort of rules that every one can follow to achieve cure. But why should these principles be easily comprehensible; think of in this way if there were as few doctors in the world as there are astronauts or nuclear scientists what could be the state of the medical system. Would medicine and cure be within the reach of everyone, I guess so. The principles have to be such that they are easy to understand only then they will much proliferate and benefit of Homoeopathy will reach each and every human being.
So we are now done with all the qualifiers but we are not done
yet. I have left the beginning for the end that is the highest
ideal of cure. Homoeopathy students often think the definition
of ideal cure, often so much that they start believing that
every cure has to be rapid, gentle and permanent. But remember,
please remember that here Hahnemann is talking about the ideal;
ideal means perfect, moral something that's worth in relating
or following. But in real practice not every cure is going to
be ideal, there will be cases which would be incurable. There
will be times when you will miss the similimum, when you won't
be able to get the right potency or the right patients or the
patients who do not work on their health.
Our aim should always be to attain the ideal but we will not succeed in every case. That should not disappoint us as the ideals are set to give a direction and we should be grateful that Hahnemann has set for us such high and noble standards. Homoeopathy is not just a set of rules; the principles can be learned in a class room, but practice in Homoeopathy is an art, a skill and as your experience grows you become more skillful in curing your patients and when you do see those ideals in practice you feel the magic of homoeopathy. The real cures that keep all of us put to Homoeopathy.
Audio lectured was transcribed by Dr.K. Savitha