Amidst all of the “doing” of Heilkunst, and bringing patients through their treatment plans to a greater state of health, there occasionally arises a question which stops everything in its tracks. Young children seem to specialize in these types of questions, such as “Why is the sky blue?”, or “Where do babies come from?”, although they occasionally will come from people of any age.
There are a few closely related questions of this nature which boil down to the essential question of “Why do we need any medicine at all?”, which is another way of asking why the body can’t take care of itself, once it has all the basic building blocks of life which it requires. Great question! Why do we need medicine?
To answer this, we need to review some of the fundamental concepts of Heilkunst : What exactly is disease, and how do we contract it? When a medicine is used to cure a disease, how exactly does it work to do so? And finally, why are we not capable of triggering this curative process on our own, without needing the medicine at all?
There are two broad schools of thought on the necessity of medical intervention, where one sees the activities of nature as being blind and undirected, and from which we need to do anything we can to protect ourselves from its otherwise cruel or random effects. The other school of thought, instead, sees a tremendous wisdom and benevolence in nature, which leaves us with the job of simply getting anything out of the way from interfering with nature taking its course.
To start with the first question — what is disease, and how do we contract it? — we go to the heart of the revolution which Dr. Hahnemann created in medicine. Hahnemann had stepped outside of the medical practice of his day (he abandoned his practice as a medical doctor early in his career), and took a good look at the big picture of medicine and its implicit philosophy. One of the profound conclusions he came to, in opposition to this “old school” philosophy, as he called it, was that the origin of disease was, in fact, not material in origin. Rather, disease originates in an altered, or morbid, state of mind.
This takes us into the fundamental importance of understanding the relationship between the mind and body in a state of health compared to a state of disease. The mind and body are not separate, but are two distinct expressions of the deeper essence of our nature. A diseased alteration of our state of mind will, sooner or later, emerge in a state of disease of the body. The nature of our healthy state of mind is not neutral, but one which actively goes hand-in-hand with all of the healthy functions of our physiology.
If disease is a state of mind, then how do we contract it in the first place? This leads us into the next concept derived from Hahnemann’s genius, is that disease is akin to a pregnancy, which acts on our generative power (as opposed to our sustentive power). The generative power is the part of us which is uniquely able to create new life, whether in the form of conceiving a child, conceiving a new idea, or activating any form of our artistic creativity.
To be continued.