Aphorism - 2
The second aphorism states,
“The highest ideal of cure is rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of the health or removal and annihilation of the disease in its whole extent, in the shortest, most reliable and most harmless way on easily comprehensible principles”.
The latest translation of Organon towards it slightly differently as the highest ideal of cure is the rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of the health, that is the lifting and annihilation of the disease in its whole, in its entire extent in the shortest most reliable and least disadvantageous way according to clearly realizable principles. In the first aphorism, Hahnemann discussed the mission of a physician that is to cure. And at the same time he gave a very brief but to the point definition of cure that is restore the sick to health. In the 2nd aphorism Hahnemann moves forward and goes on to qualify the best possible cure, he was not satisfied by just telling us what is the cure. In the 2nd aphorism he very clearly states that the ideal cure should be rapid, gentle and permanent. But here there is more to these words than what means the eyes. I always tell my students that Hahnemann writes pages in words, that is why it is not uncommon for me to lecture 3 to 5 hours on explaining even the 1st or 2nd aphorism. And this will become clear to everyone as we continue our dispose on Hahnemann’s aphorism. We have already discussed in § 1 that only when there is restoration of health we can call it cure.
Now let us discuss the qualifiers for an ideal cure. The first qualifier is ‘rapid’; the ideal cure should be rapid. As an adjective, rapid means moving; acting or occurring with great speed, it is synonymous with fast. So the ideal cure should come fast, the ideal cure should take the least possible time. But what is the time frame for a cure to be called ideal. A day or a two for acutes; a few weeks for chronic cases, No there is no ideal time for an ideal cure. It depends upon the individual case, in an acute similar but a few minutes or a few hours might be the ideal time. In an acute that is full grown, a few days might be the ideal. In a functional chronic case of not much duration and having no acute active miasms a few weeks or few months might be an ideal time. In cases with fully developed pathologies, active miasmatic states, annually recurring diseases or with significant problems at mental and emotional planes, the healing period may run into many years. It is not for us to decide what could be the ideal time for curing a particular case. Our efforts should be directed towards curing the patient as early as possible, the least time it takes to cure the case the better.
We now move on to the next qualifier ‘Gentle’. The ideal cure should take the least possible time, but it is the second qualifier gentle, which puts a limit to the first qualifier. Gentle means not harsh or severe; mild and soft. So the ideal cure should not just be rapid, it should also not be harsh or damaging in any way. Let me give you an example, suppose you have to go from place A to place B say 100kms about; there are many ways, modes to reach B from A. You can go by foot and it will probably take more than two days, your joints are also going to hurt a lot. You can use a cycle and you will cover the distance in a day or more, again there is lot of physical labor its not easy, comfortable for most of us to drive a cycle for 100kms. You can choose a scooter or a motor cycle and you will the distance in two hours. You can even choose a car and you will cover the distance in less than two hours. But the fast of the car and the fuel consumption would be significantly higher as compared to the scooter. You can choose a helicopter or a private jet; you will be there in minutes but the cost is going to be exorbitant. Then you can even tie yourself to a missile and you will be there in minutes. So we see that the quickest way, the missile or the rocket is also the most damaging. Going back forth in cycle is slow, that is not rapid enough and taxi that is not gentle. So the choice lies between the bike and the car, both are good enough but bike is ideal because of its better fuel efficiency. That is it is financially less taxing, it is both fast enough and gentle enough.
The motor cycle or the bike or the scooter, here it is the similimum that will give you just the needed thrust to the vital force to heal itself. If the progress is very slow, it’s not ideal because the patient is suffering all the time and it is our duty to relieve him of his sufferings as soon as possible. Similarly in an effort to cure the patient quickly, if the patient suffers in any way, say there is a strong homoeopathic aggravation or some new medicinal symptoms appear or the case is suppressed even then the condition is not ideal. So for a cure to be ideal there has to be a balance between the rapidity and the gentleness. But even when you have the similimum that is the bike, you might not be rapid enough or gentle enough, how. Say that the bike gives the best average when driven at 60 miles per hour; if you drive too slowly, in homoeopathic terms it means when you select the potency lower than the required or do repetition more in frequent than desired than you are not going to reach peak as rapidly as rapidly as is possible. And also it is going to be more taxing because there is going to be more fuel consumption. Same way if you drive at 100 miles per hour, in homoeopathic terms, that would be if you give potencies higher than required or you repeat the medicines too frequently, then you will reach early but the fuel consumption is going to be higher and that is not gentle enough. Plus there is going to be more wear and tear of the engine, we can call it of homoeopathic aggravation. And then even there is an increased risk of accident which in homoeopathic terms will be an idiosyncratic reaction to the remedy or life long imprints of medicinal symptoms. So your work does not stop on choosing the similimum, you have to select the right potency and then manage the case properly to affect an ideal cure which is rapid enough and gentle enough.
At this point, I remember my first eczema case; a lady in
her late thirties came to my clinic with weeping eczema on her
right leg. It had been there for the last 15 years and she had
used every possible treatment. I took the whole case and every
detail of the patient not just the eczema, match Graphites perfectly.
I gave her just one dose of Graphites 30 with placebo for next
two weeks. On the next visit, the lady came to me nearly with
jumping withdrawal ; she was very excited and told me that the
eczema is already very much less and that she feels great nothing
and ever done this to her. I was also very happy; of course
this was my first eczema case. I gave her then placebo for another
2 weeks after which the lady said that the eczema has reduced
further but not as much as the previous time. I again gave her
placebo for two weeks after which the lady came and said that
the medicine is not doing much work, because eczema was not
clearing as fast as it did in the first 2 weeks. The eczema
was disappearing gradually but the lady started becoming restless
because she was looking for a magic. As a young practitioner,
I was not experienced enough to decide about how long I should
wait before repeating. Giving in to the patient’s pleasure
and to speed up the cure, I repeated the medicine. Next time
when the patient came I was shocked to see that the eczema was
increasing again; I didn’t know what to do. I gave Graphites
200 the eczema increased further with no mental well versed
in placebo homoeopathy I was totally confused. I tried this
and that but no away, couple of months later I lost the patient.
In hindsight, I think if I have waited for a couple of weeks
or months or more the case would have progressed to cure. Haste
does make waste, but these things you will learn from experience.
...continued in Next issue
Audio lectured was transcribed by Dr.K. Savitha