Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The Principle Of Similarity
THE PRINCIPLE OF SIMILARITY
Having tried to throw some light on the production and working of homeopathic remedies, we now come to the kernel of the matter: how can I determine what information is lacking in a sick person? And how do I know where the missing information exists in the macrocosm? We find the answer in Hahnemann's famous motto: Similia similibus curatur, like is cured by like.
The similarity principle is the cornerstone of homeopathy and by far the most important factor in the healing process. Now let us look at its practical application. Nearly every substance found in nature is poisonous. The toxicity of different substances varies only according to the size of dose that is needed to bring about a poisonous effect. A considerably bigger dose of cooking salt, than mercury for example, is required in order to poison someone. But any substance, given in a certain quantity, will produce symptoms of poisoning in the human organism.
Homeopathy tests its remedies on healthy people. A person takes enough of a substance so that he becomes ill. All the symptoms that appear are then observed down to the minutest detail and recorded. In this way it is possible to arrive at the toxicity profile as well as the medicinal profile of any given substance. It is true that individual reactions to a given dosage of poison are subjective and variable. Nevertheless, by repeated testing of the same substance on many different people it is possible to determine the characteristic effect of that substance.
In the testing process, as I have said, a healthy person takes a quantity of some substance and becomes ill. Now if the doctor is faced with a patient whose symptoms correspond to those produced in the healthy person by a particular substance, then he knows that this substance is the “simile”, that is to say the correct remedy for healing this patient. In the case of the patient, of course, the remedy is administered in its potentised form, not in its material toxic form.
To give a specific example, let us say that Belladonna when given to a healthy person, produces symptoms A, B and C. If the patient shows a similar set of symptoms then this indicates that Belladonna, in its potentised form, is the correct remedy – remembering the motto similia similibus curantur, like is cured by like.
Here again we see the law of polarity at work. That which is poison to the healthy person is medicine to the sick person. It is no coincidence that in Greek the word pharmakon means both poison and medicine.
Using the method I have prescribed, the pioneers of homeopathy tested several thousand medicinal substances on their own bodies to determine their toxic qualities. Thus the doctors made themselves ill and became co-sufferers – the word homeopath comes from the Greek homoion, similar, and pathein, to suffer. Thus, just as a remedy is created out of poison by potentising, so the doctor who voluntarily descends into illness becomes the true healer because he is prepared to share the suffering of the patient. Here there comes to mind the example of Christ who, as God, willingly became a suffering man in order homeopathically – by similar suffering – to redeem mankind.
Although an unbelievably large number of substances has been tested for medicinal effects it is necessary to go on testing ever more substances, even though this makes it more and more difficult to find the right “similar” remedy in each case. This work will not be at an end until the contents of the entire macrocosm have been tested for their toxic effects and thus for their healing potential.
If we remember what has been said, in connection with astrology, about falling ill on account of a primal principle, we find that the method used in homeopathy becomes clearer. Man as microcosm contains within himself the sum of all primal principles in the form of non-material units.
The macrocosm likewise contains all of these primal principles, but in their fallen, sinful form, bound in the darkness of material manifestation. The plunge form the realm of ideas into the realm of matter makes the principles poisonous, for poison is the polar opposite of that which is healing, whole-making, holy. This is why we say that material substances can never heal since they themselves are not yet redeemed.
If a healthy person takes a primal principle in its material form he poisons himself and becomes ill. In the sick person, what happens is that one of his “own” primal principles falls into material form, “becomes dense” as Fritsche puts it, and manifests itself in the body as matter. This materialized primal principle poisons him, and he becomes ill. He is now lacking this particular principle on the non-material plane, and hence he experiences its poisonous effect on the physical plane.
The homeopath has the difficult task of finding out which primal principle is involved in the illness. Having done that, he gives this to the patient as medicine – a medicine that is taken from the macrocosm but has been sublimated through potentizing and turned back into non-material form. In this way the patient receives the information that he is lacking. This information ensures that the primal principle, in its material and toxic form, is discharged from the body, and this discharge can be measured experimentally. If a patient is given a dose of sulphur D200 it will be found that his body will suddenly discharge about 600 times as much sulphur as is normal – about 5.76 grams per day.
In formulating his simile principle, Hahnemann was expressing a primal law. Healing can only take place through similarity. Consequently one can evaluate any therapeutic system by the criterion of whether or not it is true to the homeopathic principle. Orthodox medicine is allopathic, that is to say it seeks to heal per contraria, by counteracting with an opposite force. This opposition strategy goes against the cosmic law. Opposition always creates opposition. One can obtain effects that way, but never heal. All the great doctors have known this. Two hundred years before Hahnemann, Paracelsus said: “An illness can never be cured per contraria – that is, with contrasting means – but only with the help of a like influence” (sed quodlibet suo simile).
In his Paragranum Paracelsus writes: “If you see that an illness has the features of arsenic, this will show you the cure. For arsenic heals arsenic; anthrax heals anthrax; in short, poison heals poison. Thus one man can heal another of similar anatomy. Things possessing the same anatomy heal each other mutually”. Paracelsus knew about the simile principle but not about the preparation of remedies through potentising. Instead he prepared his remedies alchemically. In the alchemical preparation the same transmutation from poison to medicine takes place as in potentizing, but in a different way.
Finally, I should like to remind readers of the astrotherapy system which I outlined in the previous chapter. The homeopathic nature of this system will now be more readily understandable. If someone is suffering on account of the Saturn principle he is given a Saturnian remedy. This is why the depressive requires a dark room, sombre colours and so on. The common factor is the realization that every illness is a repetition of what we call the Fall. Hence every healing is a process of redemption in miniature.