(AV= Anne Vervarcke AvdM= An van de Moortel)
AvdM: When we talked about the philosophy and the nature and essence of disease, you spoke about individual and collective diseases. Do they require the same or a different approach?
AV: Collective diseases can be epidemic diseases, physical and acute. Hahnemann deals with them in his Organon in Aphorism 100 to 104.33. In short it comes down to finding the genus epidemicus, which means the signature of this particular kind of flu, cholera, dysentery and the like. They may all look alike, yet there are seasonal differences as we all know in the case of influenza. If you find the picture of the disease, then you can treat all patients with two or three remedies. In these cases it’s not the individual picture that is prevalent but the disease picture. In the same way we can consider social epidemics. I am convinced that a lot of these are a result of our lifestyle and poisoning or pollution, if you will. Our life style depletes our energy body completely. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the houses we live in are all polluted, contaminated, deadened and poisonous: they hardly give any
33 Organon of Medicine, Samuel Hahnemann: Aphorism
100: “… the physician must regard the pure picture of
the disease as of it were something new and unknown…”
(…) With he exception of those epidemics resulting from
a contagious principle, that always remains the same.
Aphorism 101: “…It may easily happen that in the first case of an epidemic disease that presents itself to the physician’s notice, he does not at once obtain a knowledge of its complete picture, as it is only by a close observation of several cases of every such collective disease that he can become conversant with the totality of its signs and symptoms…”energy, they don’t feed our essence.
AvdM: I’m afraid you will sound too esoteric here for many people!
AV: I don’t think any reasonable person can deny what unhealthy circumstances we’ve come to accept as normal. And if it is too farfetched for many to believe one has to feed the energy body, then let’s ask these people a simple question. Where do you go for leisure, for vacation? People are drawn to places where they feel better; the woods, the mountains, the sea, where there is something left of the silence, the beauty, the purity of nature. That is where we try to replenish ourselves, become energized by exertion, which makes us breathe and where we feel the water of the ocean or the ground under our feet. It doesn’t only makes our juices flow; it gives us the fragrances, the splendor and maybe the taste of fresh fruits or other foods that fill our heart and soul. That is what I call “food for our essence’.
AvdM: I agree that most people spend their holidays in their version of paradise, which we’ve lost in daily life.
AV: And this loss comes with a price. Is it any wonder why we feel depressed, sad and depleted? Even our children are robbed of all their natural vitality by locking them up in apartments in busy, polluted cities, putting them in front of a television screen with a bag of chips. Should we be surprised to see those patients at three years old with chronic diseases? Are they really sick or do they suffer from social disease? When adults present with CFS, EM, auto immune diseases of all kind, allergies, chronic pains, sleeplessness, stress and depression, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Colitis ulcerosa, Crohns disease, Lyme disease, fungus, Parkinson, Alzheimer, rheumatic diseases, diabetes, obesity, anxiety disorders: do we have to treat the patient or the social disease?
Don’t we have to talk about diseases?
AvdM: I never looked at it from this angle. Is it a layer then?
AV: I don’t object if you call it that but in fact it is the result of poisoning, not a disease. Many of our colleagues say that you can’t treat the original state because has been covered by all kinds of diseases and suppressions during the lifetime. This is certainly true. But in some patients the original, what Hahnemann calls the ‘natural disease’ is in the foreground while other people only seem to display the picture of the social disease. It is as if there is no differentiation and no individuality left: they all require the same limited set of remedies.
AvdM: And you treat them as epidemic diseases?
AV: That is one way to deal with it. But the downside is that often these people don’t respond well to a homeopathic treatment.
AvdM: You mean even with the right remedy?
AV: Let me put it this way: you must have read and heard, like all of us homeopaths did, that people in third world countries with severe physical pathologies are successfully treated with a limited number of homeopathic remedies?
AvdM: Indeed, many of our master homeopaths started projects in those third world countries and invariably they come to the same conclusion: with a kit of about 30 remedies you can virtually cure everything.
AV: You should see Carol Boyce’s movie ‘Homeopathy around the World’, where she made a selection of the innumerable homeopathic projects underway all over the world and where the conclusion is always the same. With a basic set of remedies you can cure virtually everything from HIV to malaria, hepatitis, TB, diabetes, trauma, leptospirosis, fevers, burns, shocks and what not. These are all documented cases where all homeopaths have the same experience. On top of that, homeopathy as we know is cheap, easy to transport and preserve, easy to learn and apply, and effective.
AvdM: The dream of every struggling homeopath, plodding along to solve the problems of his non–responsive patients!
AV: This is a bit of a gloomy picture but for the sake of clarity, it appears to be like that. Why is that, do you think?
AvdM: I read that the usual answer is that those people, although they might be poor and therefore undernourished and suffering from lack of hygiene, still have their original vitality. That is why they respond well to our remedies.
AV: That should make us think twice, because it implies that we, in the middle of our wealth, abundance and prosperity have lost it. And if people might think that’s the price we have to pay for our wealth, then we should ask ourselves if the depletion of the energy level is a good deal? Because the second level contains our capital source of vitality, health and joy. If that is lost, what is left?
AvdM: It resembles Vithoulkas’ scheme of the ten levels of health where he tries to quantify and map these stages of health and deterioration. I have always thought of it as complicated, difficult to guess where the patient belongs in the map but the basic idea sounds like what you said.
AV: It can’t be too much of a surprise that homeopaths with long standing clinical experience, who can draw conclusions from thousands of cases, come to more or less the same deductions. One of the things Vithoulkas says is that the normal vitality is hardly ever found in a patient, maybe sometimes in an older country dweller or a farmer since they might have managed to preserve a natural healthy balance. I think that in the early days of homeopathy, most of the patients still had this. The 18th and 19th century medical science wasn’t particularly evolved, that is true, and there were what Hahnemann called “brutal procedures”
Don’t we have to talk about diseases?
but on the other hand, most of the suppressive therapies that have become routine in our times didn’t exist.
AvdM: You mean vaccinations and antibiotics and other suppressive drugs?
AV: And Xrays and immunesuppressants, blood pressure pills and anticonception pills, and all kinds of hormone therapies, mood enhancers, tranquilizers….
AvdM: … OK, I get the picture. And all these energy level depleters we just discussed and not to forget to radiation we are all surrounded by.
AV: And the continuous assault on our wellbeing by neverending horror stories in all media, all the time no matter where you are or what you look at, listen to, read or hear people talk about.
AvdM: We often wondered how Hahnemann could have any success with such a limited number of remedies at his disposal. For a particular group among homeopaths this is the main argument against being interested in ‘new remedies’ as they argue that if Hahnemann could do without, we don’t need them either. And the confirmation is found in the prompt reaction of the people in the third world countries; where they have real diseases while we only have luxury problems.
AV: The answer could be that people in those days were much more vital, much less suppressed or poisoned and therefore they reacted quickly to homeopathic remedies.
AvdM: Even when it was not their similimum?
AV: That’s a bit hard to tell. Just take somebody with a serious physical complaint who is looking for homeopathy and he gets a remedy from the 36 first aid remedy kit and gets better. He won’t come back, and we’ll never know whether his whole state has changed or whether he is ‘only cured on the physical level’. It is a historical fact though that the result of homeopathic treatment in diseases was phenomenal. In fact the success of homeopathy in the early days was based on success in epidemics.
AvdM: And we see this happening again today in the third world countries.
AV: Yes. I’ve decided to go and see for myself and will join Jeremy Sherr in Tanzania to help for a month in his clinic treating HIV patients, to have the original homeopathic experience.
AvdM: Hopefully you will come back with the answer to why we have to struggle and work so hard to treat a blocked nose here, while treating HIV in Africa seems to be peanuts!
AV: In fact we both have already formulated the answer! The combination of damaging medical interventions and a destructive lifestyle brought everybody to a state of chronic suffering. And an additional reason could be that we, Westerners, are more complex beings and hence need more diverse and sophisticated treatments. By the way, that is the argument people like best. But even if this is true it could be of minor importance compared to the other two reasons we discussed.