What does it take to be a homeopathic physician? Hahnemann tells us in Aphorism 83 of the Organon of Medicine. Let's take a look at this brief yet thorough description of what the practitioner must possess to examine a case of disease.
"This individaulizing examination of a case of disease, for which I shall only give in this place general directions, of which the practitioner will bear in mind only what is applicable for each individual case, demands of the physician nothing but freedom from prejudice and sound senses, attention in observing and fidelity in tracing the picture of disease."
Let's break down what Hahnemann is really saying here. In the individual examination of disease he is not talking about disease as a whole but in each and every individual case. There are no two cases ever the same. Some are alike but they are individual to each person. He is saying that we must examine each case individually.
He says these instructions he is giving are general in nature. That there are more specific ways to understand this but he is asking us to grasp the whole of what he is sharing. These are a general introduction to the idea in Aphorism 83.
The practitioner shall bear in mind only what is applicable for each individual case. This is the greatest challenge for homeopaths. We must be able to discern disease from health. If we do not know how the derangement of the vital force expresses itself through each individual it will be very difficult to ever find the medicine that is most homeopathic for the individual. We must be able to see the case. See the disease clearly.
This demands nothing but freedom from prejudice. This is the key to seeing the case clearly. If we have any prejudice then we might as well be giving the remedy to ourselves. Our pre-judgments about diseases, other cases we have seem before that are similar, judgments about the individual or their lifestyle etc. must be dismissed during the case receiving, and analysis.
Sounds senses are a must for the homeopath. His/her powers of observation must be very clear. We need to be able see all of the behaviors and descriptions of the patients disease. We must hear their words. We must be able to feel the case without taking the case on. This empathy versus sympathy. Our senses are a collection of all of our sentient faculties and we must constantly work to refine them in ourselves.
Attention in observing and fidelity in tracing the picture of the disease. The fidelity in tracing the picture requires us to be very diligent. We must not be half way in our attempts to see the picture of the disease. We must ask open ended questions we don't lead the case. We must investigate the roots of this disease. By asking about family history or questioning family members we can gain more clarity about the disease. This diligence is something that gets refined each and every case that we work on. We are not just tracing the picture of any disease, we are tracing the picture of this one individuals disease.
When we break down what Hahnemann is saying we can see that there is much to be considered in even a general description of a very small Aphorism. He did not make mistakes with his words or the meaning. Every good homeopath must study the Organon. We have a very good guideline that is applicable in every case we see as a homeopath. We must follow these instructions. They will be what will improve our skills and our lives as we help the lives of others.
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