Rebuttal to Julian Winston and Chris Kurz
by Rudi Verspoor and Steven Decker
The following review was published in Homeopathy Today, June 2000. Various criticisms are made which deserve a public reply. Our comments on this review are provided in square brackets [ ].
Homeopathy Re-discovered: Beyond the Classical Paradigm, by Rudolf Verspoor and Steven Decker, Hahnemann Center for Heilkunst: Gloucester, Ontario, Canada, 1999, paperback, 400 pages. ISBN 0-9685166-2-9. Reviewed by Julian Winston and Chris Kurz, PhD.
This is a book everyone should read. Having said that, we have a number of reservations about it.
[There is a curious split in this review, and undoubtedly in the reviewers. On the one hand, there is an enthusiasm for the book and what it represents, but on the other, a clear suspicion and wish to denigrate it. Consider in this regard the initial, uncensored comments of one of the reviewers on the book posted on a homeopathic discussion group.
I have finally recived a copy of Rudi's new book, "Homeopathy Re-Examined".
I am about 1/4 of the way through.
It sure does stir one's thinking, and Rudi has a way of being SO eruidite
that I'm sure it could be said with a lot less words, BUT...
As far as I've gotten, my impression so far is that this is perhaps the
BEST book I've ever read that explains the Organon and where it is all
On some level, it is very much like Joseph Reves' book a thick
commentary. But unlike Reves, Rudi does not seem to be bringing in his
PERSONAL view. Rather he is looking at it dispassionately and in great
I'm intrigued that a lot of the commentary revolves around the INTRODUCTION
that Sam wrote not just the aphorisms. I'm sure we've all read the
WORDS, but never stopped to ask "what do they mean?" or even more, "what
was this translated FROM?"
Of interest is the paragraph that was NOT in the Organon about the use of
two remedies at a time.
Now, certainly one can say, "AH! Rudi is twisting the whole thing to show
that Hahnemann approves of what HE (Rudi) is doing in ST!" But how does one
twist history that way? The letters between Hahnemann, Boenninghausen, and
Aegidi are all there and documented almost a century ago.Then there is the
work of Lutze who, in 1865, made known the removed paragraph, and showed
many cases that he treated with the "double remedy." I've had a copy of
that book on my shelf (in English) for almost 20 years and never looked at
it in this light.
It is fascinating how Rudi takes a paragraph and isolates the single phrse
on which the whole meaning turns and then finds that same phrase in other
paragraps and studies the meaning in the first, based upon Hahnemann's use
in the others.
We are, I fear, looking at the Emperor with no clothes.
I am about 1/3 through the book. I do not see Rudi promulgating anything in
his work except the need to seriously examine what we have read. If
you've read Haehl's bio on Hahnemann and Bradford's "Life and Letters"
you'll find the grist for the mill all the questions are there. But they
have never really been looked at openly.
When Kent lectured on Hahnemann he lectured about HIS vision of what
Hahnemann was saying. No one I know has ever dissected the introduction and
examined all that stuff that Hahneman was giving as a prequel as to how he
came to write the book. Some folks thought so little of the need for the
intro that it was completely left out of the Kunzli/Naude/Penedlton edition.
The book is not trying to prove anything. It is just presenting information
*that has been there all along* and asks us to *look at it*. It might not
change the way we practice, and that's fine.
But if we hold Hahnemann as a "genius" then it is a delight to have a bit
more depth of undertanding about the issue he was thinking about.
I have 2/3 more to go, but I think it is one of the most fascinating books
I've read, and if the last 2/3 is as interesting as the 1st third, then it
is one of the most important books ever written about the subject.
The only question is "why has it not been done sooner?" The raw data is
there but no one ever assembled it.
One cannot help but note in the current review a certain anxiety as to the full import of the content and a wish to effectively deny it, as will be clear from later comments. Why should the book be read by everyone if it is only subjective interpretation based on bad translation, as this review concludes? One cannot escape the impression that this review seeks to damn with faint praise in the hopes that others will simply pass it over as only another personal comment. This ignores that every comment in the book is firmly grounded in the works of Hahnemann.]
Conceptually, much of the book contains information that should have been written/voiced long ago. [This is a back-handed compliment, so that there is no reason to credit those who have done it now, effectively ignoring the imaginative and creative work done by the authors to bring Hahnemann's full genius to light.]
The underlying premise of the book is that what most people think of as "homeopathy" is really only a piece of what Hahnemann was talking about in the Organon. [The book does say this, but the underlying premise is rather that the natural law of similar action has several principles whereby it can be applied in a given case, a fact totally missed in the review.]
Until relatively recently, the only English translation of the Organon generally available was the one done by Robert Ellis Dudgeon in 1849. That translation took Hahnemann's original convoluted German and placed it into convoluted Victorian English. [Given that the translator wrote in the Victorian period it is hardly surprising that he would use the language conventions of his day! However, Victorian English only seems convoluted by today's standards. The best of Victorian-era literature and writing is clear and a model of the written arts. It is actually only convoluted if one lacks the artistic imagination to comprehend it. Equally, Hahnemann's German is only convoluted if one equally lacks a similar imagination, a deficit that being a native speaker does not guarantee against. The problem with previous translations was not the supposed "convoluted Victorian English" but the fact that the translator did not at all comprehend many aspects of Hahnemann's dynamic system, such as the dual nature of the life force, such that the various specific terms Hahnemann used were all reduced to one abstraction the vital force. The reviewer here, unfortunately, continues this tradition of missing the deeper issues.] It was this translation of the Organon that was used by J.T Kent when he delivered his lectures on homeopathic philosophy at his Post Graduate School in the early 1900s. Furthermore, Kent (and most other influential U.S. homeopaths at that time) was not fluent in German and made no effort to look at the original work accepting the translation of Dudgeon as the "gospel."
The 6th edition of the Organon, written by Hahnemann in 1842, was not published undl 1921-5 years after Kent's death. Boericke did the translation-which consisted of changing only the parts which differed from the 5th edition. The rest of the translation remained, essentially, the Dudgeon work.
A new translation of the 6th edition was offered in 1982 as a joint effort between Jost Kunzli, Alain Naude, and Peter Pendleton, but this translation did not include Hahnemann's lengthy introduction, nor did it explain how the translators arrived at their meaning nor the subtlety of meanings within the original language.
In 1997 [That's strange, it says 1996 in our copies.], Wenda Brewster O'Reilly, using an interlinear translation created by Steven Decker, produced a 6th edition that described the translation process and brought some explanation to the actual German text of this seminal book.
An interlinear translation is a literal translation of each word in the text (i.e., an English word above each word of the original text). That is only the first step. The next step is to place the resulting sentences into a conventional grammatical structure and meaning.
In the case of Hahnemann's Organon, the literal translation of the first sentence of the preface looks like this:
Die alte Medicin (Alloopathie), um Etwas im Allgemeinen uber
The old Medicine (Allopathy), in order to something in general
dieselbe zu sagen, setzt
about the same to say, (pre)supposes
Dudgeon translated this as: "In order to give a general notion of the treatment of disease pursued by the old school of medicine (allopathy) it may be observed that it presupposes ..."
While O'Reilly uses this: "The old school of medicine (allopathy), to say something general about it, presupposes ..."
It is this interlinear text by Steven Decker that Rudi Verspoor [in collaboration with SD] has used to explore the concepts of Hahnemann and contrast and compare them with the ideas that we think we know so well.
Verspoor, with the help of Decker, puts together a "whole picture" and also outlines the separate pieces of the whole that some are "following" in the name of "homeopathy." To many who,practice homeopathy, this book could be incredibly threatening. It is akin to the little boy declaring that the Emperor has no clothes. [But again, why, since it is claimed later to be just a subjective interpretation?]
The titles of some chapters (e.g "The classical principles," "Other partial truths of classical homeopathy") are sure to raise some hackles.
Similarly, Verspoor's reputation as a strong proponent of "Sequential Therapy" and someone who is trying to use his vision of the Organon to denigrate the "classical" homeopaths and support a "new" homeopathy will certainly be a cry raised by the opposition. [This sentence is certainly convoluted and ungrammatical. That being said, what is the supporting evidence from the book for this assertion? Any comments about so-called classical homeopathy are grounded in Hahnemann's own writings.]
And raise hackles it will. When one has spent time learning homeopathy as taught by most modern teachers, to read the following will certainly push the "defensive" buttons: [And we can see that these defenses are working right here in the reactive statements which follow.] "... the notion of constitutional prescribing as being found in Hahnemann is nothing other [than] a modern form of sophistry attempting to make plausible by verbal legerdemain what is otherwise non-existent in Hahnemann. Linguistic mystification traps the unwary and foists errors upon those struggling to learn ..." [Yes, it is indeed a wholesale indictment of the tenets of classicism, but one firmly and extensively grounded in Hahnemann himself. What is the point being made here? That it is a cause for criticism to make comments based on a careful analysis of Hahnemann's writings, one that the reviewer admits should have been done long ago, but for some unspecified reason was not? That it is a cause for criticism to cause those holding views not similarly grounded in Hahnemann's writings to become defensive? Only those who do not have a scientific mind the commitment to unfolding the truth but hold to tenets can be defensive in the face of such extensive research.]
On the surface this work is a brilliant exposition. [Meaning that it is not so in detail, which is an attempt to dismiss the degree of evidence provided, all grounded in Hahnemann's works] Chock full of Organon quotes and detailed explanations of the English translation of German words, Verspoor paints a picture of Hahnemann's "Heilkunst" the total system for bringing health to people that is described in the Organon. He describes how such varying approaches as Sankaran's "core delusion," Reckeweg's "Homotoxicology," Elmiger's "Sequential Therapy," and the practices of isopathy, drainage, and tautopathy, as well as the regimen-centered therapies of the naturopaths (and others) are all a part of the full "Heilkunst."
The mistake, he suggests [asserts], is that we (who call ourselves "classical homeopaths") have selectively read the Organon to agree with our view of what it should be, and have not read/understood the other parts of the whole thing.
This is not a book that reads very easily. [Why in the world not? Is it because it is unsettling to many?] It is a book that should be read with both the O'Reilly and the Dudgeon translations of the Organon at hand. By doing that, one can follow the reasoning and perhaps check (for one's self) the accuracy and interpretation being offered.
But ... and this is a very big one ... while Verspoor's exposition is absolutely fascinating and seems ["I know not seems." - Hamlet] intensely scholarly, there are many parts within the work that we believe one should not take at face value.
The work asks us to accept the translation by Decker (who is a German scholar) and the interpretations by Verspoor [This is totally incorrect as the second paragraph on pg. xiv clearly states with regard to the collaborative effort of both authors.] who, by his own admission, does not speak nor read German. Yet each word is dissected in a way such that the final interpretation seems to have grown from what Verspoor would like it to be. While Verspoor accuses others of "linguistic mystification" and a "modern form of sophistry," he can easily be painted with the same brush.
For example, on page 91 Verspoor talks about paragraph 273 of the Organon in the context of the single remedy. He uses the interlinear translation to get to the meaning of the paragraph. The relevant phrase reads in German:
"... auf einmal in einer Krankheit ..."
The interlinear translation is given as:
"... at one time in a disease ..."
Which Verspoor [this is Steven Decker's rendition] then rewords as:
" at one time per disease "
The indefinite article "einer" in German may also be translated as the numeral "one." [But either way, the meaning is not altered.] So the meaning could be "a disease" or "one disease" the issue [which issue is this as the meaning is not altered whether one uses "a" or "one?"] can't be decided by looking at the interlinear translation (which only gives one meaning and, incidentally not the one Verspoor chose). [Where is the evidence that the rendition of the interlinear, done by Steven Decker as well, has not the same meaning in this case?] The proposition that Hahnemann advised us to use one remedy per disease with the implication that there often is more than one disease present in a patient [this is what Hahnemann himself states as shown in the book on p. 94-96], stands, to say the least, on shaky ground. [Possibly if all you read was this part, and didn't read the rest of the ample grounds given in the book. Incidentally, 'per' is rendered in Cassell's in the following way: per second = in der Sekunde.]
OED per 2. a. In distributive sense, following words of number or quantity in expressions denoting rate or proportion: For each, for every: = a prep.1 8 b, by prep. 24 c. See also per cent, cent1 2. Also with ellipsis of cent, head, hour, week, etc.
A second example is the translation of "Lebenskraft" as "Living Power." We believe [but you don't know? Then why raise this as an example to support the serious charge against the book that it involves "linguistic mystification?"] this is inaccurate since it implies that the power itself is alive. [And are we to understand that the 'Kraftwesen' of aph. 11 is not alive? Hahnemann equates the Wesen with the Dynamis and calls it the Lebenskraft often.] If Hahnemann had intended this he would have written "lebendige Kraft" instead.
[The English 'living' is not used as an ordinary adjective but as a gerundive participle (verbal noun as in 'making a living') which the "native speaker of German" who co-authored the review is obviously not familiar with. Let's look at some examples of this in German:
Lebensart = manner of living*^
Lebensbedingungen = living conditions*
Lebensfreude = joy of living*^
Lebensführung = style of living*
Lebenshaltung = standard of living^
Lebenshaltungskosten = living expenses*^
Lebensstandard = living standard
Lebensgewohnheit = way(or habit) of living^
Lebenskunst = art of living
Lebens- = living
lebensfähig = capable of living
Lebensführer = guide to living
Lebenskraft = living power
Lebenskünstler = master of the art of living
Lebensverhältnisse = living conditions
Lebensweise = manner of living]
The translation closest to the original "Lebenskraft" is "power of life," "force [Force is only an aspect of power so that these two cannot be equated, or the one reduced to the other, a common mistake of those who misunderstand the depths of Hahnemann's dynamic system] of life" or simply "vital force" which with we are most familiar. [And since we are familiar with it, we should stay within the confines of familiarity, even though it is not correct? Are we to understand that Hahnemann is to be considered a vitalist, a position clearly shown to be false in the book? Hahnemann was a dynamist and a functionalist.] It is easy to understand why Verspoor wants it to be "Living Power" it fits with the idea he is working so hard to develop throughout the book. [And just what is that precisely?] Still, his translation misses the mark. [In what sense? The criticim misses the mark, if anything, as is pointed out above. Any German-English dictionary will give the meaning 'living' for 'Lebens-' in several phrases.The conformity of Hahnemann with other English dynamists such as Dr. Saumarez is part of the reason the gerundive form was chosen.]
At every turn there is a piece of information or a concept that will make you question your understanding of the Organon and homeopathy. Of special interest is that much of what needs to be understood is found in the introduction to the Organon, and not with the major 291 paragraphs we all have read. How many of us have read the introduction and understood exactly what Hahnemann was talking about? The authors' explanation gives us food for thought; but because of the small ways the text has been dissected and interpreted, caution might be taken in accepting it at face value. [Is careful and close analysis to be considered undesirable? Where is the evidence to show us this manipulation of the Introduction?]
Verspoor zooms in so deeply on every word that, at that level, virtually any interpretation is possible. [Is it not possible at other levels? More seriously, are we to understand that all translations are equally subjective, that there is no point to any scholarship in this direction? If so, why don't we just take one and not bother with any more work?] By subtly shifting the weight from one word to another, by imperceptibly altering the meaning of the translation [Well if its not perceptible, just exactly what is the charge here making no perceptible alterations?], by combining parts located far apart in the Organon, etc., you can distill virtually every meaning you want out of the book. [As classical homeopathy has amply demonstrated.] But why read between the lines when the words on the line speak a clear language? [Well, now the translation is clear, whereas just a moment ago it was highly suspect. This is certainly one of the stupidest statements ever made about translations of the Organon. How can the meaning of the translation be altered? The meaning lies in the original German.]
Verspoor points out the problematic statement made by many homeopaths when they say they treat the "person" and not the "disease." In different words we could say that we must treat the "disease[d] person" since the person and the diseases are inseparable. The author elaborates on this fact and we tend to agree with him. [The point of the author is totally missed here. The reviewer here attempts to take what is one of the central arguments of the book namely that Hahnemann enjoins us to cure the disease and that we must take the totality of characteristic symptoms of the disease, which are not the same as the totality of symptoms of the patient and reduce it to the patient again!] For example, this is how Catherine Coulter's books may be misunderstood by many: there is no healthy Pulsatilla, only a sick patient whose disease is expressed by the vital force as Pulsatilla. [Wrong, Gutman and Whitmont both concur.]
Since so much of contemporary homeopathy derives from the teaching of Kent, there is a chapter called "Kentism re-examined" in which Verspoor analyzes the work of Kent in the light of his "new view" of the Organon. In this chapter, Verspoor looks at the three books from which our "philosophy" is derived and discusses how they have selectively looked at Hahnemann's writing, resulting in "an orthodoxy which is one-sided and has distorted Hahnemann's genius." There are eleven pages devoted to Kent's Lectures, nine to Close's Genius of Homeopathy, and six to Robert's Principles and Art of Cure. [No denial or endorsement?]
Along the way, Verspoor brings up the very controversial subject of Hahnemann's apparent acceptance of using double remedies, [This comment makes it sound like the history of dual remedy use was just mentioned in passing when it is a critical and pivotal part of Hahnemann's own life and work and central to the analysis of the tenets of classical homeopathy. The book provides, as no where else, a fully documented account from the existing records.] and the long essay of 1912 titled "Remedies Related to Pathological Tissue Change" often ascribed to Kent, but probably written by his star pupil (and fellow editor of The Homoeopathician) Julia Loos.[Again, this ignores the importance of this article, as set out in detail in the book. Why is it then mentioned?]
We found the book "summary" (Part IV) very confusing. Verspoor presents a two-column listing comparing "Classical homeopathy" to "Dynamic Heilkunst" in terms of Orientation, Case taking, and Prescribing/treatments. After reading the whole thing one is at a loss to understand what exactly is being said or asked for. [This would only suggest that the book itself was not really read in any great depth.] There are words and concepts that are not explained within the rest of the book, for example: the contrast between "memorized remedy pictures" and "enactment." What does that mean? [This refers to the intellectual study of Materia Medica, with the study of so-called "keynotes" and basic memorization of information, versus the conducting of actual provings with their knowledge derived from the engagement of one's life force, as well as imaginative re-enactment of this using one's "kennen" as opposed just to one's "wissen," all of which is explained in the book. It further refers to the idea of participation by the physician in the case, using his or her "kennen", the supersensible form of knowing to truly dia-gnose, as illustrated in the chapter on The Physician's Reaction drawn from Sankaran.] How does it manifest? Similarly, under "Prescribing/ Treatments," how is one to understand the meaning of "remedial formula" in contrast with "single remedy matching," [This refers to the discussion of the reality of sequential and concurrent diseases as grounded in Hahnemann's observations and remedies for these, as opposed to the abstract notion of there being only one disease, namely the "diseased patient" as is clearly set out in the book.] or "transferential" in contrast to "sterile"? [This refers to the ability of the physician to participate the patient using his supersensible organs of knowledge, which requires a high degree of health on the part of the practitioner vs. the rigidity of mind with its armored enclosure of the classical homeopath, relying formally on the intellect. Where there is use of intuition, imagination and inspiration, this is rationalized using intellectual constructs.] These are words and concepts that are not explained. When we see one suggesting "radionic assay" and "20th Century advances," we would like to have a bit more explanation as to exactly what the author is talking about. [Stay tuned.]
The last part of the book is an appendix that uncovers a puzzling problem. Verspoor has taken what he calls "a core drill sample" of cases from the current literature culled from the journals Simillimum, Resonance, and New England Journal of Homeopathy. He suggests that the successful remedy choices in these cases, after a number of failures, could not be explained. He views the presented cases as only partially taken, and prescribed for with a remedy whose choice was justifiable by hindsight. Although the prescribers claimed improvement, he does not see it. He says, "Clearly, what the prescriber focuses on is not what the patient or others are focused on."
Certainly there have been many cases presented in the literature and at seminars which would lead us to agree with his assessment. There are cases presented by internahonally acclaimed speakers where those present see no cure happening-contrary to what the author/speaker says. We may want to believe that cure is happening and so we may give them the benefit of the doubt; it's part of our collective "delusion" and an aspect of our practices that we should carefully monitor.
Asks Verspoor, "Where are we to find a case that provides us with an example of the new model of Heilkunst?" In reply, he follows with one of his own cases. Sorry to say it is hard to make head nor tail out of the case he presents. Many of the prescriptions appeared to be routine, many had little or questionable results, and none are explained as to why that remedy was given. Over a period of three years, 32 remedies were given. If there is supposed to be a "principle" in action, it would have been enlightening to have had it explained. We can see little difference in the case presented and those that were being criticized in the previous section. [Actually, it only requires a modicum of imagination to unify for the mind's eye what has been already ably set forth in familiar works. It is only the concept of hierarchical jurisdictions which is needed to render many hitherto competing factions in homeopathy intelligibly concordant with one another in practice. And this was stated in the book as the reviewers note below.]
Design and details
The book is intended to be offered in electronic medium, which might explain some of the strange indents one finds in quoted paragraphs and repetitions of paragraphs or close ideas within some of the sections.
As a printed book, section headings would have been valuable at the top of each page to help one find the way around and back to a referenced point.
A full bibliography of all the books that were quoted throughout the work would have been a welcome addition. [This will be added.]
Why the headings, instead of going from I-IV, are listed as IA, IB III, III, and IV remains a baffling question.
There were several minor textual errors: the word "not" was left out at one point, making homeopathic remedies "toxic"; the date of the "Kent" essay on pathological prescribing was August 1912-not 1911 (as derived from Eizayaga); and Kent's Lectures on Philosophy was based upon his lectures in Philadelphia not those delivered in Chicago. [All of these errata and formatting problems will be fixed in the amplified electronic edition.]
Verspoor has taken us on an interesting journey through the intricacies of the Organon and explained how he sees that our contemporary conception of the work (as we have learned through our teachers in the last 100 years) is quite different than Hahnemann intended that we have seen just a piece of the whole, and that by understanding the whole we can understand the art of healing in a much fuller way. Whether Hahnemann would react as described in the sentence below is complete speculation: "Having so roundly and decisively punctured the pretension of the Old School in the form of allopathic medicine (medicine of principals not principles), Hahnemarin, were he to return today, would face another task in routing the new money lenders with their false and debased home opathic coinage." [Of course that is just what has been proven in the extensive arguments squarely grounded in quotes from Hahnemann, not speculation.]
There are enough folks who proclaim, "If Hahnemann were alive today, I'm sure he would ... [fill in the blank]." There is enough interesting factual material in this book without having to ascribe speculative actions to Hahnemann. [What speculation? This statement is fully grounded in the factual material presented.]
The general "end result" that Verspoor is suggesting can be clearly seen in this paragraph: "We must, as patients, first go to see a nutritionist. Once we have completed this kindergarten level of Heilkunst, full of basic knowledge to maintain our health, we can graduate to the grade school of Dr. Reckeweg and his homotoxicological approach to the removal of toxins. When we have been certified as cleared by Dr. Reckeweg's school, we can proceed to the High School of Dr. Elmiger and his isopathic approach to the removal of disease at the homogenic, iatrogenic, and pathogenic level. Now we are ready to go on to the post-secondary level where our beliefs are to be challenged and replaced by true knowledge. Here we meet Sankaran and his state based prescribing. Free of our core delusions, we can now pay a visit to Catherine Coulter to finally determine our true constitutional in order to enter the world as healthy human beings and further develop our knowledge as nature intended, on the basis of experience informed by Truth."
Verspoor's and Decker's achievement is to show that the Organon is not an unambiguous guide to homeopathy [This sets the stage to later state that it is all a matter of personal interpretation, and ignores the mass of evidence fully grounded in the writings of Hahnemann, which leaves little room for ambiguity. What it does, however, is demonstrate the ambiguity of the simplistic tenets of classical homeopathy.]. In fact, it is impossible to write a treatise on any subject which leaves no leeway to interpretation. Our language always leaves a little play between the words, sentences and concepts we put down on paper. It has been the domain of sects and fanatics to claim the only correct interpretation of a given text as their own. As such, Verspoor falls prey to the same mistake of which he accuses classical homeopathy. [This statement then admits that classical homeopathy is a sect of fanatics.] The usefulness of the book lies mainly in showing people how much room for interpretation there actually is in the Organon. [No, what the book does is show how much classical homeopathy has ignored of Hahnemann's writings, resulting in a confused and partial understanding. Nothing has been provided in this review backing up the assertions made here. Where is this matter of interpretation of which much ado is made? The few examples given turn out to not prove their case but to undo it, as can been seen above.] The task of choosing one interpretation from amongst the range of possible and implied ones lies with each reader. [Ah, relativism. The ultimate refuge of the dogmatist backed into a corner by copious evidence.] Neither the author nor anyone else can do this job for us. [And, of course, this now rules out any pretense on the part of homeopathy to being a 'science'. The method of selecting remedies is just a matter of personal interpretation then. But never mind, because the remedies will all be equally justifiable according to the implications buried in the reviewers' statements.]
What this means is that we are obliged to take as many sources of information [not knowledge] as possible on which to base our understanding and practice of homeopathy. First and foremost this requires us to "aude sapere" to dare to think/know. And we certainly follow in Hahnemann's footsteps if we base our views on our own experience and the experience of people we trust and value [here we come back to authorities as opposed to principles]. Verspoor's interpretation may be regarded as one possible interpretation of the Organon-not the only one. [Well what a truism this is! I suppose we may give remedies in just the same relativistic way if this is the case. On this basis, one's opinion as to the remedy is just as good as another's. Experience becomes the sole guide, except where that experience conflicts with one's own!]
The book should certainly be read by serious practitioners, especially those who would be open enough to look at their own practices to see if the ideas offered can help them see their patients more clearly and help their patients achieve freedom from dis-ease.J [One can never read enough subjective interpolations can one!]
Chris Kurz, PhD; practices homeopathy in Austria and is a native speaker of German [but seems not to speak English well enough to know his parts of speech gerund versus adjective]. Julian Winston is the editor of Homeopathy Today.
[This is a good example of Wilhelm Reich's conflict diagrams. Yes to the drive and no to the drive for a sum total of stagnation.
The tactic here is to admit that something important is being said, but to 'defensively' rally to reduce it to 'subjective interpolation' by means of false charges based on ignorance or subterfuge, thereby attempting to render it innocuous in a final burst of relativism. Their final say is that there is no right system, and presumably no right remedy since the method of selection is relative to whatever the individual decides on. This is what the genius of Hahnemann is reduced to? Unfortunately no laws exist preventing reviewers from villifying whatever they choose without a scrap of evidence. At least there are procedures for testing the ability of drivers or else we would have eight year olds careening down the streets sideswiping parked vehicles worth 100 times the value of the rattletraps doing the scraping and scrapping as they go.]
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