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It is not conceivable, not 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.

— Samuel Hahnemann, Organon of Medicine (6th edition), Aphorism 8

In the previous aphorism, Hahnemann describes the significance of the totality of symptoms, that of being the outward reflection of the inner essence of disease; in this aphorism, Hahnemann’s proposition is that the removal of these symptoms means the disease has been eradicated.

However, to truly understand this aphorism, we need to know what Hahnemann believed sickness to be.

For Hahnemann, the material aspect of disease wasn’t as important. It was what he called the ‘dynamic’. By dynamic, he meant the regulatory systems of the organism – those that are continually operating to keep the balance (homoeostasis), correct functioning, and ultimately to maintain health.

He considered symptoms as being ‘produced’ when these regulatory forces become disordered – and this is the disease state. So therefore when symptoms are no longer produced, this must mean that the regulatory systems are successfully able to maintain balance, and disease is no longer an issue.

This is revealed in his footnotes, where he is critical of a material-only perspective of disease, rather than a vital functioning of a dynamic organism:

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.

David Haubenschild

David is a homeopath from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He is passionate about helping people change their lives for the better, achieving a level of freedom from disease, and promoting general happiness and wellbeing using natural approaches, that last.

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