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Understanding the Vital Force in Homeopathy

Nov 22, 2007
There is much misapprehension about homoeopathy among physicians as well as among the laity. Among physicians there is a feeling that if we know the materia medica that is all that is required. The materia medica is indeed important, and its thorough comprehension and study is needed at all times; but unless the homoeopathic physician has a concept of the philosophy, of the reasons underlying the administration of the remedy, he will never make a careful homoeopathic physician.

One of the first and foremost elements with which the homoeopathic physician must be conversant is the different forms of energy, for it is on this basis only that we can prescribe homoeopathically. In Hahnemann's Organon of the Healing Art he gives us the following:

In the healthy condition of man the spirit-like vital force, the dynamis that animates the material body, rules with unbounded sway and retains all the parts of the organism in admirable harmonious vital operation as regards both sensations and functions, so that our indwelling, reason-gifted mind can freely employ this living, healthy instrument for the higher purposes of our existence.

This was the first introduction to the medical world of the rational concept of life itself.

We recognize life in three parts, the body, the mind, and the spirit. This is a trinity, and this trinity is always present in all life and in some form in every part of our organism. These forces react in sympathy and are inter-dependent. (Vide Organon 43).

No organ, no tissue, no cell, no molecule, is independent of the activities of the others, but the life of each one of these elements is merged into the life of the whole. The unit of human life cannot be the organ, the tissue, the cell, the molecule, the atom, but the whole organism, the whole man.

The growth and development of each individual progress as it draws upon the physical energy, and upon the dynamic energy as it is manifest in the brain, and upon the spiritual energy. These different manifestations of energy are essentially different in their workings. The law of growth is the same in one as in another.

The influence of this vital force on the whole organism is so delicately adjusted and so intimately connected with every part, that seemingly distant organs or unrelated symptoms show the effects of any disturbance of the vital force; and no one can prophesy what the influence may be on the part of the economy or what direction will be taken by the manifestations in each individual, but his vital energy will direct the course with unerring precision.

In treating disease we are drawing upon another storehouse of dynamic force, which acts almost synchronously with the disturbed vital force that is in the body. The pace is similar, the symptoms are similar. We are dealing with the similar remedy. Dr. Boger illustrates this by the picture of the runaway train, where an engine is sent, not in the opposite direction to meet and combat force with force, but in the same direction, increasing in pace until it is equal in pace to the runaway; and it is then in a position to subdue its speed.

The action of the proven remedy is similar to the action of disease from whatever source. Disease first must be caused by a disturbance of the vital energy and that in itself sets in motion a train of symptoms exhibiting an exact picture of the way in which the vital energy is disturbed.

It is only from these pictures that we can gather an understanding of the inner workings of the sick individual. It is only through the careful observation of the proving of the potencies that we can know the action of any given remedy, to understand where it has made its impress on the vital force. The vital force is resilient and impressions not only show forth promptly but over a considerable period of time.
As has been seen, an understanding of the vital force is a necessity in the practice of homeopathy. It is crucial in an understanding of disease, and of remedy.
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