Review in Homeopathy International by Lois Hoffer
A Paradigm Too Far
Rudi Verspoor, Steven Decker. Homeopathy Re-examined: Beyond the Classical Paradigm.
Hahnemann Centre for Heilkunst, Gloucester Ontario, 1 999.400 pp., p/b, no price given.
ISBN 0-9685 166-2-9
In Homeopathy Re-examined, Rudi Verspoor and Steven Decker make some extremely daring claims about their work hoping it will revolutionise the way homeopaths view Hahnemann for generations to come. They claim to show us not just what he consciously and explicitly wrote, but what his unconscious genius, his intuitive or emotional mind, implicitly built into the text.
Only those able to change their mode of consciousness and view the texts with the 'emotional mind' instead of the 'analytical, intellectual mind' can understand the authors [Hahnemann], who claim to be the first to understand the dynamic, 'functional' thinking they ascribe to Hahnemann. [Actually this is the first attempt to apply the polar logic of Goethe and Coleridge and the functional thinking of Reich in reading Hahnemann's dynamic text.] This certainly makes it tricky to look critically at their arguments. [It is not a matter of being 'tricky' but impossible for the intellect uninformed by the noetic mind to do so.] However, the seriousness of the authors' claims about what they call Hahnemann's Heilkunst demands equally serious examination of their scholarship. [Although written as an implicit slur, the above comments are essentially correct and rule out the attempts of the mere 'critical intellect' to negate that which it cannot create. Whenever the critical intellect comes up against the products of the creative mind, it must censor that which it cannot recreate by either denying its validity or reducing it within acceptable bounds by a species of verbal legerdemain.]
Whatever merits this book may possess are obscured by the low quality of the presentation and the (dis)organization of the text. [As Coleridge once put it, the obscurity may be due to three sources: the inherent obscurity of the matter in question, the obscurity in the author or in the reader.]
Two versions of the book are available: a printed book version and an HTML-format, hyper-text linked version on CD-ROM. In the former, the quantity of spelling mistakes, repetions, and even notes from a proof-reader left in the text (p. 228), show an extensive lack of care. Quotations from Hahnemann's texts abound, but very often without a detailed discussion to connect them to the statements made, and their references are obscure and often inconsistent or wrong, making it impossible to identify them. [Now all we need here are examples of each so that this statement won't remain obscure, inconsistent or wrong.] The linked 'hypertext' format of sound bite sized sections seems more appropriate to Web-surfing than to a scholarly work of such importance. [It should be noted that the text was conceived and executed from the premise of its being released in electronic form. The printed version was mostly a concession to students so that they might have an immediate work book.] Moreover, merely printing hyper text (i.e. with dead links) onto paper without any adaptation yields an unreadable result, and not only because it lacks the basics like page numbered references to replace the links and an index. Ideas are not developed logically, i.e., introduced and fully defined, grounded in careful discussion (rather than mere quotation) of the relevant texts, and then brought to a series of clear conclusions. [Indeed, the text is not presented in linear fashion as the critical intellect demands.] Instead, the topics constantly change from page to page and terms, added without properly defining them, are then used as factual 'givens' to introduce yet more concepts. The resulting confusion leaves the reader mistakenly convinced that the information must be there, if one could but find the proper section. [The ability to follow hyperlinks and to perform word searches on a given term throughout the text will answer to this charge. However, the terms are defined in context and not used as factual givens.]
Still, there is much to be applauded in the basic aim of this book, which was to take a fresh and critical look at the basic tenets of classical homeopathy - the single remedy, the totality of symptoms, and individualization - partly by bringing up for public discussion the many ways in which actual practice does not keep to the traditional 'rules' of classical homeopathy in its pursuit of what works and cures best, and most laudably, by going back to Hahnemann's exact words, to the original German. However, a reader who cannot speak German is very much at the mercy of the translator/interpreter and this should be kept constantly in mind. But probably the best part of Homeopathy Re-examined is the section on dual remedies, called 'The Two Sides', where translations of letter after letter between Hahnemann and his colleagues, an article from Aegidi published in Stapf's Archiv and a chapter of a book by Lutze are given. It becomes unmistakably clear that politics played a very strong role in what Hahnemann publicly went on record as approving and what was allowed to enter the Organon, as opposed to what he actually thought privately and may have experimented with in practice. Wherever one stands on the issue of the single remedy, the facts must be faced: Hahnemann not only did not immediately scorn the clinical use of two remedies at once, but was so enthusiastic about the cured cases presented to him that he decided to alter best part of the Organon to recommend it.
There are only two conclusions one can draw: either Hahnemann suddenly became completely senile, or there was something about the idea of two sides to disease and therefore the prescribing of dual remedies, which made immediate sense to Hahnemann, and fitted in so well with what he knew of homeopathy that he could add it to the Organon in a small paragraph and not change another word.
It is long past time that homeopaths put reality first and dogma second, and relied on observations and clinical facts, rather than on tradition and theory with the goal being to cure rather than to be politically correct. As Hahnemann himself stated in the Introduction to the 2nd edition of the Organon:
Medicine can and must rest on clear facts and sensible phenomena, for all the subjects it has to deal with are clearly cognizable by the senses through experience. Its subjects can only be derived from pure experience and observations, and it dare not take a step out of the sphere of pure, well-observed experience and experiments, if it would avoid becoming a nullity and a farce...[This applies to acute diseases and is supplemented by Hahnemann later on by references to other modes of knowledge. The holistic sense of Hahnemann's presentation is violated by leaving these other pertinent items out of discussion.]
Unfortunately, the authors have fallen down on exactly this point in much of the rest of the book. The next step should have been to carefully discuss in detail the only historical text they provide (that of Lutze) [Is Aegidi's text non-historical? The whole presentation of the dual remedy issue is completely historical with copious references to all the principals involved - Hahnemann, Boenninghausen, Aegidi and Lutze.] where the use of dual remedies is presented explicitly, with clinical observations from real cases along wlth the remedies chosen, and even a brief mention of the reasons for the choices. Following that up with similar cases provided by R. Verspoor, the only author who is a practising homeopath, [A stage of experience beyond our would-be critic.] using as he does a version of Elmiger's multi-remedy sequential method, might have shed some light on what principles govern the use of, and determine the effectiveness of, dual and multiple remedies. [If it weren't so pathetic, it would almost be amusing to read such statements. The book spends most of its time making the point about these various 'principles' of applying remedies that the 'critic' has yet to make out apparently. The principles are enumerated for each dimension on the tonic as well as on the pathic side.]
Hahnemann or Reich?
Instead, the authors seem to have rejected the dogmatism of classical
homeopathy only to replace it with an equally dogmatic insistence on viewing Hahnemann through the filter of Reichian functionalism. [There can be no dogmatism when creating what has been a non-existent view of Hahnemann in the light of other Dynamists. There is however insistence on the inter-relatedness of all contributing Dynamists due to the wonderful congruence of their several offerings. A whole section on Reich will be included in the digital version.] They state that Hahnemann was 'a functional thinker,' basing this solely on the duality inherent in the 'two sides' to disease, and never grounding this claim in the historical record, nor developing it in any way from other authors of his time. [Nonsense. There are historical references aplenty to Coleridge, Goethe, and Saumarez. But the real grounding is to be found in the dynamic operations of nature itself. Any real contributors to understanding nature dynamically must perforce be able to think functionally in order to be in accord with the Living Power's operations in nature.]
Functionalism itself is barely explained, and the rightness of the chosen concepts as proper functional pairs is never discussed, even though determining correctly what two elements make a proper functional pair is not trivial. Jacob Meyerowitz's book on functional thinking, Before the Beginning of Time, takes almost 10 pages to explain in simple terms that 'right' and 'wrong' are not proper functional pairs, whereas 'right' and 'partly right' are. [Meyerowitz' formal presentation (which I supplied to the critic to begin with) of Functionalism should be studied in conjunction with Reich's own original presentation of the subject called "Orgonomic Functionalism" in order to build up an understanding of the logical form. However, the treatment in the book simply follows Hahnemann's own inherent polarities in the hope that the reader will get the sense of the endeavor from the many examples and then be inspired to investigate further via the bibliography which will be provided.] The authors' reasoning seems to be circular: we say Hahnemann was a functional thinker; we can extrapolate these concepts somehow from Hahnemann; therefore they must be correct because Hahnemann said so and he was a functional thinker, [On this whole issue of functionalism, education is the key. Hahnemann's functionalism is not based solely on the duality of the two sides of disease, but on numerous polarites which the authors have adduced throughout the course of the book. The study of Coleridge's 'polar logic', and of Goethe's, prior to Reich's formulation of 'orgonomic functionalism' is a work in itself. See also Owen Barfield and Rudolf Steiner. The reader is urged to seek higher education in such matters and not sit passively waiting for all to be explained to him or her without recourse to other materials, which is the height of complacency.]
As if this [erroneous allegation] weren't bad enough, the terms are truly only 'extrapolated', and the connection to Hahnemann's actual texts in German is truly tenuous.
[Extrapolation is a form of logical projection from one context into another. But here the context is natural law, and all contributors to the dynamic system do so only by adhering to the working of nature, which includes functional mentation. That the bio-logic of nature requires different stages of conciousness in its historical march to distinct conciousness (a sort of potentization) does not mean the earlier, less conscious contributors were any less functional in their approach, but only that there isn't as much epistemological awareness of the process of such thinking in accord with nature. To trace back, from the point of distinct consciousness (in this case Reich), the history of functional mentation is in no way an extrapolation but a realization of the activity in unselfconcious stages of its emergence.] For example, the most important functional pairs that the authors spend a great deal of the latter part of their book using - tonic/pathic and sustentive/generative - are actually made up [??] from one German word that is explicitly used by Hahnemann pathische (pathic) and Lebens-Erhaltungshraft (life-maintaining-power) - and another German word which either never appears in the Organon or Chronic Diseases or appears and has a completely different meaning than that given to it by the authors! For example, the word for the generative aspect of the life force, Lebens-erzeugungshraft as printed on p. 228, does not appear anywhere in the Organon or Chronic Diseases, and the only time the partial word -erzeungungskraft (generative force) appears, it is compounded with Krankheit (disease) in ¤ 21, referring in context to the disease-generating power of remedies, and having nothing whatsoever to do with the life force.
[This misinformation can be summarily dismissed by adducing Hahnemann's own usage, which is exactly what we did in detail in our book on our treatment of the Erzeugungskraft and the Erhaltungskraft aspects of the Living Power. H's attribution of the Erzeugungskraft as a power of the Living Principle is attested to in aphorism 22 fn where he says that "the morbidly mistuned life force (Lebenskraft)...engenders (erzeugt) in the organism...all the symptoms and changes in condition..." In the synopsis to aph. 15 he refers to the "suffering of the sick Lebenskraft and the disease symptoms that are engendered (erzeugt) thereby." On pg. 37 of the introduction H tells us that "the disease-affected life force is the engenderer of the self-manifesting disease." In aph. 148 we are told "natural disease is engendered (erzeugt) by a spirit-like inimical potence that disturbs the spirit-like life principle...forcing it [like an evil spirit] to engender (erzeugen) certain sufferings and disorders in the course of its life." Likewise, medicine (as a self-engenderer of similar symptoms), like the inimical potences, has the power to ingenerate disease, "but only those symptoms whose appearance this disease was itself capable of engendering in this body." Hahnemann's whole presentation of disease is steeped in the generative language of 'potences' ingenerating diseases which the receptive (conceptive) human Wesen then engenders in various manifestastions making up the "image of the wesen of the disease". The generative act requires two participants: the inimical Potence that "like an evil spirit" ingenerates the disease and the human wesen, which in turn proceeds to engender (or create Aph.6 fn) a disease wesen within (father>mother>child). This is Hahnemann's conception of disease in his own words with nothing imported from outside sources. That the generative imagery informing Hahnemann's presentation of disease has not been acknowledged by commentators or translators in the past does not remove his language in the original. And it is precisely this understanding that is missing in the endless debates about the nature of remediation. So now ask yourself why Hahnemann bothers to use such a designation as 'sustentive power' with respect to the the 'Lebenskraft' to begin with. Obviously because he is denominating a certain aspect of the Living Power that is a narrower characterization of its total scope of activity. Now read the above presentation of the generative aspect of that activity and ask yourself if there is such a thing as 'generative power' in human beings or not, aside from Hahnemann's text. If yes, does this Erzeugungskraft exist independently of the Lebenskraft, or is it also, like the sustentive power, a narrower specification of the Living Power's activity as Hahnemann clearly states in the Organon? What else might it be subsumed under other than the Lebenskraft - a tree in the front yard?]
The two English terms 'tonic' and 'pathic', the two halves of the functional pair first introduced on p. 104, supposedly correspond to each of the two sides of disease. Pathic is very similar to the German word pathische, which is explicitly used in Hahnemann's original texts, but in a very special context. Its meaning is clear from its origins in ancient Greek and refers to the suffering (pathos) of the patient. Hahnemann only uses it three times, twice in the Introduction and once in the footnote to aph.22, and in each case he is referring to the relationship that must exist between the symptoms of a disease and those that a remedy can cause, in order to have a rational basis for prescribing. [Which of course is exactly what we are stating. The point here is that he uses the term when speaking of the symptomatic approach.] There is nothing to show that it refers only to one side of disease. [Our book clearly explicates the symptomatic (Leiden) approach to disease summed up in the term 'pathic' and differentiates it from the pure 'stimm' (tonic) approach which is substantiated in numerous ways in Hahnemann's writings. There is a failure on the part of the commentator to compass the whole presentation.] The only connection the authors give between the English word and Hahnemann's German text, seems to be Hahnemann s use of nouns and verbs with the root stimm- meaning 'tune 'such as 'mistuning', 'detuning', 'over tuning' and 'retuning'. From the word 'tune' they extrapolate to 'tone', and from 'tone', to the adjective 'tonic'. [There is NO extrapolation here whatsoever. The term 'stimm' is legitimately rendered by 'tone' in the dictionaries as well as by the far more circumscribed 'tune' entry. In Wildhagen under 'Stimmung' 'tonality' is listed, and under 'tonality' 'Stimmung is given. Under 'tone' itself, 'Stimmung' is listed. 'To tone down' is rendered 'herabstimmen', 'to tone up' is 'heraufstimmen'. In Cassells likewise we find 'tone' rendering 'stimmen' and 'Stimmung' and 'Stimmung', 'herauf- and herabstimmen' rendered by 'tone-up -down'. So much for that sterling piece of scholarship criticism! See below for the 'tone' entry from the OED showing its wide range of meaning in many senses.] No evidence whatsoever is given from the German texts to show that these words refer specifically to any particular side of disease. [Other than the entire historical presentation of the topic? That is where readers (except the commentator) will find a complete discussion of the whys and wherefores of how Hahnemann dealt with the issue. In his letters, Hahnemann did refer to using two suitably combined medicines "each from a different side." What needed to be clarified in our text is just what constituted the two sides and what language Hahnemann used in referring to them.]
Indeed, one need only read the Preface to the 6th edition to find a direct contradiction to this, where Hahnemann states that the medical art of homeopathy: can easily persuade every reflecting person that human diseases rest on no material, on no acridity, that is to say on no disease matter;rather they are solely spirit-like (dynamic) mistunings (Verstimmungen) of the spirit-like,living power (the life principle, the life force) of the human body (Organon, O'Reilly/Decker edn. p. 4, emphasis mine) [The conceptual distinction between using similar symptoms based on the pluralistic unity of disease for prescription vs. the similarity of Stimmung (tone) based on singular elements is completely set forth in the book.]
It seems clear to this reflecting person ['seems' is the operative word here] that Hahnemann here is defining disease in general to be a mistunement of the life force - certainly not just a certain kind of disease called 'tonic'! In addition, the word Tonika, related through the Latin to 'tonica', which is 'tonic' in English in the musical sense, is used in the Organon, quickly followed by the related adjective tonisch (ibid. p. 39).
But once again, both refer exclusively to the excitatory 'pickme-up' of old school medicine, not to a particular category of disease. [The pick-me-up sense of 'tonic' is but one entry among many. See below for the full OED entry.] Space restrictions do not permit me to examine more than one of these in detail, but most of the functional 'pairs' and other concepts supposedly based on the German text can be shown to be faulty in similar ways. Given this low quality of scholarship, one begins to have serious doubts about the rest of the text. [The only thing faulty here is due to the critic's 'limitations' when it comes to the meaning of words. This one-sided palaver about the tonic is a good representative of the overall myopia displayed by the pugnacious intellect in its assessments of that which is essentially beyond its narrow grasp.]
Symptoms versus aetiology
But what then may be the two sides of disease talked about so freely by Hahnemann and his colleagues, which are established in the historical record? The answer may [!!!] lie in Hahnemann's use of the word homogene, which is misinterpreted by the authors, based on a faulty translation of a footnote in the Introduction. [Those poor dumb sots. Who are they compared to the likes of Hoffer? See www.heilkunst.com/muchado.html for a discussion of this term.] Hahnemann notes that the specific, homogenic remedies, outlawed by the old school for being too strong in their action were 'homceopathische genannt' (called homeopathic). Despite the fact that Hahnemann repeats this definition, by writing 'homeopathic' in parenthesis after 'homogenic' in other places in the Organon, the authors state that Hahnemann thought this was not the correct term (although that in German would be have to be so-gennant or so-called), and have built a whole 'jurisdiction' of disease in their 'Heilkunst' on the error. [Completely unclear! What does this mean? Again, this whole discussion has already been posted.] If instead we take Hahnemann at his word, we immediately recognise that the equivalency of homogenic (similar [Wrong, it means 'same'.] origin or cause) and homeopathic (similar suffering) is the most fundamental and basic idea behind homeopathy: [The fundamental idea is that there are several different principles to apply remedies by, and that each can be designated by specific terms: irritant related remedies (homogenic - Arnica for bruises], epidemic remedies, state-based remedies and symptom-based matches (pathic), etc. All this is treated in depth in the book, but depth is not the critic's forte.] that what causes a similar set of symptoms will cure it. If this agrees with Hahnemann's general understanding of homeopathy, he would have referred to homeopathy as 'causal', despite having nothing good to say about the supposed (but erroneous) causal cures of the allopaths of his day. Did he? Yes: halfway through footnote 8 in the Introduction (ibid. p. 13), he says 'This is a true causal treatment; the other is an imaginary one which, in fact, is only a damaging fatigue for the patient.' We make this equivalence every time we give Arnica for a blow, before the bruising develops. We are not basing the prescription on symptoms, as we do not yet have them; we are basing it on pure experience that Arnica causes the same bruising that blows cause, and so on similar causes, not similar symptoms. [Well now, there you have it - an example of the tonic approach based on singular causes (which we elaborate in detail in the book) and a pathic approach based on matching a plurality of symptoms.] The same is true for prescriptions based, not on symptoms, but on the cause that the patient has been 'never well since.' Only such a fundamentally linked dualism, so basic to homeopathy, could be behind the two sides, as it wasn't even necessary for Hahnemann to specify what the two sides were, and he could add a paragraph about it and change nothing else in the whole Organon. [This comment, though limited to two kinds of tonic applications, is making our point actually. The problem with trying to peg the dualism in case taking to the terms 'cause' and 'symptom' is that both kinds of disease have causes. That such a simple thought didn't occur to the critic is symptomatic of the critical inadequacies displayed throughout this piece.]
It's a pity that the authors missed this very simple possibility, because they were blinded by the need to make Hahnemann fit into a functional mould and because their German scholarship was so lacking. [Here we have a person of extremely limited ability in German making authoritative pronouncements based on arrogant ignorance. This writer is personally well aware of the critic's deficiencies in German.]
In conclusion, while this book collects for the first time in one place some important historical documents and brings up the disparity between classical theory and practice for the homeopathic world to face, its poor presentation in the printed version and the pervasive and very serious lack of care and scholarship, makes it not much worth reading. [And we hope that the young bespectacled Hoffer won't cudgel her brains any further with it so we can be spared such inane pieces of myopia in the future.] Ask a native German speaker to take a look at it for you, and you will probably find they throw it across the room before they are part way through it. [Now here is a good closing shot. 'Probably' is a nice way to project the displeasure of the ignorant critic on another such imaginary figure found solely in her head.] Lois Hoffer
[While the would-be critic complains of poor scholarship, let us look at her own. We find her instructing us as to the meaning of 'tonic' without so much as consulting either an English dictionary to survey the full range of meaning of the term, or a German-English dictionary to ascertain whether what she says about 'extrapolation' is true or not. She is dead wrong on both counts as the adduced quotes show. The complaints about obscurity are based on an almost pathological inability to read and comprehend wholes as opposed to the few pieces the analyzing intellect manages to cling to. The inability of the mere intellect to comprehend the whole of any reality may be likened unto a sieve being used to ladle out a basin. The water mass, apart from the adherence of a few drops at best clinging to the sieve mesh, remains in place. In all the time I've known and discussed anything with the critic, she has never demonstrated the slightest ability to get at the essence of anything, and goes on floundering about in an analytic fog without the (non-intellectual) faculties necessary to 'relate' to the whole.
There is a kind of holistic imbecility here due to complete reliance on the fragmenting intellect for comprehension. That she should have no luck in reading a work as complex as the one she criticizes (or of course in coming up with such 'serious' content herself upon reading the Organon) comes as no surprise whatever. Her limited understanding of German is that little bit of knowledge which is a dangerous thing - only enough to get her into one perplexity after another. It is precisely this inner confusion that is projected onto a book, which demands a holistic understanding to do it justice. Of course the same may be said for reading the Organon in general.
The intellect alone has only been able to come up with a transmogrified caricature of what Hahnemann said which is founded on the explodable tenets disposed of in the first part of the book. There is merely an occult connection with Hahnemann and not a dynamic one. She and her intellect can see the charges leveled against classical homeopathy as being valid, but can't put Humpty together again. That requires a creative mind vs. a critical intellect, and the usual outcome is to leave these hard questions unanswered and to go with the consensus. Anything departing from that stamp is then dogmatically repudiated while the nay sayers neigh the party line. The herd rules and Heilkunst languishes undiscovered and unused.
We wouldn't otherwise concern ourselves with such drivel as this 'critique', which demonstrates abysses of incomprehension, but for its representative value as showing a total impotency of mind while denying the existence of the generative power in Hahnemann's writings, the term for which, 'erzeug'..., with all its variants, is one of the most pervasive terms used throughout the Organon. Its as if the critic had but fifteen minutes to read a work that demands days and weeks of study before making any pronouncements. But the really sad thing is that she has had years to do so, but to no avail. Again, this is representative of the historical mass of readers of the Organon. Hahnemann's Heilkunst (Remedial Art) demands an aesthetic/artistic/noetic/gnostic mind to irradiate and inform the mental functions, which will perforce, upon such irradiation, begin thinking 'functionally' as Goethe, Coleridge, Hahnemann and others in the last century, as well as the likes of Steiner, Reich and Barfield in this century have demonstrated. The academically trained intellect has been essentially disqualified from making any important contributions to real knowledge due to the dumbing down effect described in Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto. We then see these pipsqueaking upstart intellects exercising their right to free speech without unfortunately exercising any capacity for free thought in so doing. Reich characterized this impotent mentation (dys-functional thinking) as the result of a split between the intellectual system and the bioenergetic domain of the bodymind due to what he called 'armor'. The dissolution of this condition was the goal of a regimenal therapy founded by Reich which will find its medicinal application in Hahnemann's legacy. The whole 'Dynamic System' as termed by Coleridge, has so far eluded the academic intellect parading itself as the sole arbiter of knowledge. And this 'critique' is just one more example of it, and thus comes up a paradigm too short.]
From: "Lois Hoffer" firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2001 4:10 PM
Subject: Re: [bihstudy] Calming waters...??
I don't see how one could accept that there is such a thing as "tonic" and "pathic" remedies, corresponding to two "sides" of disease and such a thing as two "aspects" of the vital force called "generative" and
"sustentive", on the basis that Hahnemann said so, and at the same time accept that the German word for the "generative force" never appears in ANY of Hahnemann's writings, nor do any "two sides of disease", and the only word for "tonic" that appears is the allopathic kind of pick-me-up. The "two sides" idea comes, not from Hahnemann, but from texts written by those who discovered and used double remedies and even they plainly refer to triaging the *symptom* totality presented by the patient into different parts, as a way of matching symptoms to remedies homeopathically, nothing to do therefore with a "side" of disease almost devoid of symptoms called "tonic" and one that has all the symptoms called "pathic". This isn't a case of one person's opinion versus another person's, nor of "interpretation": it suffices to look at the original texts and see for yourself.
[Aside from marveling at the raft of baseless assertions, frivolous objections and false allegations contained in this reprise of her longer critique above, one can only marvel at what DOES seem acceptable to such intellects. That the LAW of similars has been abstracted from its executive principles and turned into a mere RULE resting on a raft of false tenets, while practitioners blithely continue debating the 'problems' of prescribing in terms of arbitrarily selecting certain symptoms out of an otherwise unqualified pile, doesn't seem to concern anyone in their speculations as the 'cure' rate for classical homeopathy has sunk to an all time low in the world. Never mind, however, while they gropingly group symptoms in try after try hoping that one combination will 'work' on some level to alleviate complaints without having any scientific criterion of cure whatsoever in so doing. At least the politically correct dogma is upheld so as not to cause any intellectual anxiety to those playing their mental chess games within the rules currently adhered to which have little if anything to do with Hahnemann. Never mind the glaring contradiction contained in the above critique of the two 'sides' (Hahnemann's term) while reverting back to the more 'acceptable' difference of symptomology vs aetiology, which is essentially the same thing but badly stated. One would indeed be tempted to hurl such nonsense across the room were it not for the fact of its lightness not being conducive to supplying enough momentum to do so. We shall leave the 'critic' and others like her to their vain pursuits while we focus on the real world of therapeutic endeavors.]
From the Oxford English Dictionary. Bracketed comments are added.
tonic, a. and n. [Gr. of or for stretching: see tone n. Cf. mod.L. tonicus, F. tonique (16th c. in Godef. Compl.).]
1. Phys. and Path.
a. Pertaining to, consisting in, or producing tension: esp. in relation to the muscles. tonic contraction, continuous muscular contraction without relaxation. tonic convulsion or spasm, one characterized by such contraction (opp. to clonic).tonic motion, a former term for a state of continuous tension in the muscles such as that which keeps the body erect (cf. quot. 1646 s.v. tonical 1). [This entry can refer to the chronic contraction due to 'armoring' which is an essential component of the shrinking biopathy as Reich calls it or a wasting disease as H terms it. A 'tonic' remedy would release the contraction.]
1799 Med. Jrnl. II. 340 The increased tonic motion of the vessels which the Stahlians..considered as the efficient cause of inflammation.
1830 R. Knox Anat. 135 Motions of tonic contraction, augmented in many places by the action of the elastic tissue.
1834 J. Forbes Laennec's Dis. Chest (ed. 4) 375 We cannot regard the tonic spasm of the bronchi, or even perhaps of the air-cells, as impossible; since every muscle is susceptible of spasm.
1899 Allbutt's Syst. Med. VII. 351 Tonic or clonic convulsions sometimes occur [in positive haemorrhage].
b. Pertaining to, or maintaining, the tone or normal healthy condition of the tissues or organs (cf. tone n. 7). See also 2.
1684 T. Burnet Th. Earth i. 207 The tone or tonick disposition of the organs whereby they perform their several functions.
1813 J. Thomson Lect. Inflam. 65 Stahl's ideas respecting the tonic or
vital action of the capillary vessels.
1855 H. Spencer Princ. Psychol. (1873) I. i. v. 93 This pervading activity of the muscles is called their tonic state.
2. Med., etc. Having the property of increasing or restoring the tone or healthy condition and activity of the system or organs; strengthening, invigorating, bracing. (Of remedies or remedial treatment, and hence of air, climate, etc.) Also tonic water, a non-alcoholic carbonated drink containing quinine or another bitter as a stimulant of appetite and digestion; a drink or glass of this; tonic wine, weak, flavoured wine sold as a medicinal tonic. [This sense of the word would is the only one our critic alludes to. However, even here we see an application not in the allopathic sense of pick-me-up now and let-me-down later, but in the the sense of pick-me-up and keep-me-up in H's system.]
1756 C. Lucas Ess. Waters III. 205 Their vapor..is found to be more tonic.
1800 Med. Jrnl. IV. 160 A long course of steel, in conjunction with tonic bitters.
1867 A. J. Wilson Vashti xxiv, Be sure she takes that tonic mixture three times a day.
1885 G. Meredith Diana v, She spoke of the weather - frosty, but tonic.
1970 G. Greer Female Eunuch 276 Perhaps she can try a glass or two of tonic wine? More likely her G.P. will..prescribe a happiness pill. [Yes, this what H was actually doing in the long run.] fig.
1848 Kingsley Saint's Trag. ii. ix, God brings thee The tonic cup I
feared to mix.
1867 H. Latham Black & White p. viii, One great benefit to be derived from a visit to America is its tonic effect upon the mind. [This cite doesn't imply a let down and is loosely associated with geographical instances of homeopathic effects.]
3. Mus. [This sense is treated of in depth in HR, and includes the sense of (mis)tunement used in the O'Reilly edition.]
a. Formerly applied to the key-note of a composition (tonic note), now
called simply tonic (see B. 2); now (attrib. use of B. 2), Pertaining to or founded upon the tonic or key-note: as tonic chord, a chord having the tonic for its root; tonic pedal, the key-note sustained as a pedal (n. 4).
1760 Stiles in Phil. Trans. LI. 773 Two modes with the same tonic note, the one neither acuter nor graver than the other, make no part of the old system of modes.
b. Tonic Sol-fa: name of a system of teaching music, esp. vocal music,
introduced by the Rev. John Curwen about 1850, in which the seven notes of the ordinary major scale in any key are sung to syllables written doh, ray, me, fah, soh, lah, te (modifications of the older do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si: see these words and gamut), and indicated in the notation by the initials d, r, m, etc.; doh always denoting the tonic or key-note, and the remaining syllables indicating the relation to it of the other notes of the scale. Chiefly attrib. [This gives additional meaning to 'keynote' prescribing.]
4. a. Pertaining to musical tone or quality. [Another aspect of the meaning inherent in 'stimm', such as 'Stimmlage' (register, pitch).]
1795 Mason Ch. Mus. i. 42 This solemn instrument [the organ]... In point of tonic power, I presume, it will be allowed preferable to all others.
b. Pertaining or relating to tone or accent in speech; indicating the tone or accent of spoken words or syllables; characterized by distinctions of tone or accent. tonic accent (= F. accent tonique), the stress-accent of a word. [Rajan Sankaran teaches listening for the tonic quality in identifying diseases.]
1867 Howells Ital. Journ. 72 In their divine language, and with that
ineffable tonic accent which no foreigner perfectly acquires.
1868 Max Müller Stratif. Lang. 42 The Thibetan is..tonic and monosyllabic.
1894 A. H. Keane in Church Mission. Intell. Oct. 723 Thus the monosyllable pa will be toned [i.e., intoned] in six or more different ways to represent so many original dissyllables, pada, pake, pana, pasa, pata..and some of the Chinese and Shan dialects have..as many as ten or twelve such tones... Hence these languages are now called isolating and tonic rather than isolating and monosyllabic.
1896 Ethnol. xii. 324 A far more important feature than the length of the words is their tonic utterance.
1. a. Med. A tonic medicine, application, or agent.
[1693 tr. Blancard's Phys. Dict. (ed. 2), Tonica, those things which
being externally applied to, and rubb'd into the Limbs, strengthen the
Nerves and Tendons.] [Cf. H's directions for occasional external application.]
1799 Med. Jrnl. II. 116 When..the hectic [pathic] symptoms were subdued, and only weakness remained, tonics completed the cure. [A good cite for Pathic and Tonic remedies in Hn.]
1875 H. C. Wood Therap. (1879) 54 Substances..which, when taken internally, act upon the nutrition of the various tissues so as to restore lost tone...
Such substances are known as tonics. [Cell salts anyone?]
b. fig. An invigorating or bracing influence. [Homogenic prescriptions.]
1840 Clough Early Poems i. 8 The tonic of a wholesome pride.
1868 Farrar Silence & V. viii. (1875) 136 It is the strongest of moral
c. Tonic water.
1935, 1949 [see gin and tonic s.v. gin n.2 2 a].
1972 M. J. Bosse Incident at Naha ii. 108 We all had vodka and tonics.
a. = key-note n. 1. [See above.]
tonic major or minor: that key (major or minor) which has the same key-note as a given key (minor or major).
1806 J. W. Callcott Mus. Gram. ii. iv. 131 The Tonic Minor must have in its Signature another flat.
1889 E. Prout Harmony i. 12 The first note of the scale is called the Tonic, or Key-note. This is the note which gives its name to the scale and key.
b. The principal key of a musical composition or passage; the home key. [Cf. the arch tonic - the constitutional remedy.]
1896 G. Grove Beethoven & his Nine Symphonies 8 The Coda which closes the first movement, after repeating in the tonic the phrase already quoted as No. 5, combines the wind instrument passage with the first subject. [Cf. Whitmont's spiraling through successive remedies.]
1923 E. Evans Beethoven's Nine Symphonies I. 177 At the third portion we have a new treatment of the first part of the same subject..leading to a triumphant cadence in C as tonic. [Triumphant as in curative.]
1961 A. Hopkins Talking about Symphonies i. 20 The key you start in is called the 'Tonic'. [Or end in according to disease reversal.]
1979 D. R. Hofstadter, Escher, Bach v. 130 With the inversion of
the theme for our melody, we begin in D as if that had always been the tonic, but we modulate back to G after all, which means that we pop back into the tonic, and the B-section ends properly. [Again cf. Whitmont.]
Hence tonic v., trans. to act as a tonic upon, to invigorate, brace up; to administer a tonic to; whence tonicking vbl. n.
1825 New Monthly Mag. XV. 199/1 It tonicked the sedentary stomach into unwonted vigour. [Cf. Aconite juice in Hahnemann's intro for vitiated stomach.]
1889 Mrs. C. Praed Romance Station 126 She needed..tonicking;..her blood didn't nourish her brain properly. [Most patients need 'tonicking'.]
[The 'tonic' designation is meant to do justice to Hahnemann's distinction of similars based on a plurality of symptoms on the one hand and on state, feeling, sensibility, and impression terms which are all referring to the singular aspect of pure 'Stimmung' (tone) certain diseases have which may or may not involve sufferings that the patient reports, but which are discernible by the 'participating' Heilkünstler. The latter data, pertaining primarily to the meaning of circumstances, behavior and other phenomenological (not primarily symptomological) features, need a distinguishing term. And although 'tonic' does carry overtones of 'pick-me-ups' in its range of meaning, it more essentially renders the essence of 'Stimm' better than any other term in English I have found. However, as Rudi Verspoor's researches in the Lesser Writings have revealed, Hahnemann also conceptually distinguished the two kinds of disease early on by 'variable' and 'constant' diseases which are apt at an empirical level but leave something to be desired at the rational level.]
[We see just how large a scope this term has in rendering the gamut of Hahnemann's use of the term 'stimm'. That our critic left all of this out of her reckoning is the best testimony to her 'scholarship'.] SRD
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