‘Miasms’, Or ‘Totality of Symptoms’? Which Decides Selection of ‘Similimum’? Let Us Listen What Master Says

HAHNEMANN SAYS IN ORGANON – APHORISM 7:

“Now, as in a disease, from which no manifest exciting or maintaining cause (causa occasionalis) has to be removed, we can perceive nothing but the morbid symptoms, it must (regard being had to the possibility of a miasm, and attention paid to the accessory circumstances, § 5) be the symptoms alone by which the disease demands and points to the remedy suited to relieve it – and, moreover, the totality of these its symptoms, of this outwardly reflected picture of the internal essence of the disease, that is, of the affection of the vital force, must be the principal, or the sole means, whereby the disease can make known what remedy it requires – the only thing that can determine the choice of the most appropriate remedy – and thus, in a word, the totality of the symptoms must be the principal, indeed the only thing the physician has to take note of in every case of disease and to remove by means of his art, in order that it shall be cured and transformed into health.”

The first thing I noticed in this aphorism is that master begins with talking in terms of “disease” instead of our common perception of “diseased individual”. He asks to remove “manifest and exciting cause” of “diseases” before attempting a therapeutic intervention. More over, he says the “disease” demands and points to the remedy suited to relieve “it” through “the symptoms alone”. He defines “symptoms” as “outwardly reflected picture of the internal essence of the disease”. Through the statement “only through symptoms” “the disease can make known what remedy it requires”, Hahnemann asserts the primacy of concept of “disease. “In every case of disease”, “totality of the symptoms must be the principal, indeed the only thing the physician has to take note” in order that “it” shall be cured and transformed into health.”.

See, master is talking about “disease”, “symptoms of disease” and “curing of disease”. Not the “person”, “symptoms of the person” and “curing the person”.

Next point we have to notice in this aphorism is that master advises to remove “manifest exciting or maintaining cause” before attempting a therapeutic intervention. “Totality of symptoms” and “similimum” can be considered only after “removal of “manifest exciting or maintaining cause”. This is very important point to consider in day to day homeopathic practice. In the footnote, hahnemann further explains this point: “It is not necessary to say that every intelligent physician would first remove this where it exists; the indisposition thereupon generally ceases spontaneously. He will remove from the room strong-smelling flowers, which have a tendency to cause syncope and hysterical sufferings; extract from the cornea the foreign body that excites inflammation of the eye; loosen the over-tight bandage on a wounded limb that threatens to cause mortification, and apply a more suitable one; lay bare and put ligature on the wounded artery that produces fainting; endeavor to promote the expulsion by vomiting of belladonna berries etc., that may have been swallowed; extract foreign substances that may have got into the orifices of the body (the nose, gullet, ears, urethra, rectum, vagina); crush the vesical calculus; open the imperforate anus of the newborn infant, etc”.

Then, “regard being had to the possibility of a miasm, and attention paid to the accessory circumstances”. Remember, master does not at any point here ask us to make prescriptions on the basis of miasms. He only says, “regard being had to the possibility of a miasm”, while studying the “totality of symptoms”

But, Hahnemann asserts that “the totality of the symptoms must be the principal, indeed the only thing the physician has to take note of in every case of disease and to remove by means of his art, in order that it shall be cured and transformed into health.”. Beyond any doubt, “totality of the symptoms must be the principal, indeed the only thing” “physician has to take note of in every case of disease”, and on which the selection of similimum should be based. Master further explains the importance of “totality” in the footnote of this aphorism.

Please listen to this statement:

“the totality of these its symptoms, of this outwardly reflected picture of the internal essence of the disease, that is, of the affection of the vital force, must be the principal, or the sole means, whereby the disease can make known what remedy it requires – the only thing that can determine the choice of the most appropriate remedy”.

By defining “symptoms” as “outwardly reflected picture” of the “internal essence of disease”, Hahnemann makes it clear that “the internal essence of disease” is the real, and the “symptoms” are only a “reflected picture”. Further, the “internal essence” is “affection of the vital force”.

Our modern scientific understanding differs with hahnemann on this definition of “internal essence” of disease. According to existing scientific view, “internal essence” of disease is “molecular errors” in the “vital processes” which leads to pathological deviations in related biochemical pathways. “Symptoms”- subjective and objective, are the “outwardly reflected picture” of these “molecular errors”. The phenomena hahnemann called as “affections of vital force” arise from these material level ‘molecular errors”. By observing “totality of symptoms”, we are actually observing the “internal essence”, or the “pathological molecular errors”.

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1 Comment

  1. dr sathe.

    Dear friend
    thank you lot for your very nice article.
    Devendra Sathe

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