Preface to Revised and E-book Edition (2012)
Homeopathy is distinguished from mainstream twenty-first-century medicine (allopathy) by its different resolution of each of a series of age-old dichotomies of healing, all of which go back to the birth of human inquiry into disease and healing. Despite the fact that these dichotomies are not in routine professional or public discussion any longer does not mean that they have gone away. In all cases homeopathy’s allegiance is to the first of the pair:
•Diagnosis by holistic motifs and mind-body-spirit patterns as against diagnosis by discrete symptoms or disease categories;
•Treating only sick individuals rather than overcoming generic diseases;
•Setting treatment on the basis of prior medicinal provings and intuitive characterological readings rather than rational and intellectual explanations of pathological processes or interpretations of laboratory results;
•Healing by Similars and matching disease frequencies (even if it means increasing symptoms) as against healing by Contraries and antidoting pathological responses and symptoms;
•Stimulating the body’s natural immunity, vital energy, or internal coction as against imposing an external intervention in the form of pharmaceuticals or surgery;
•Prescribing activating and aggravating rather than sedating and enervating drugs;
•Using information-transferring microdoses rather than activity-transferring macro-substances;
•Regarding the body as a mysterious energetic field rather than a concrete chemico-molecular machine;
•Viewing diseases as representative of a layering of civilizational latencies, crises, and other suppressed maladies as opposed to chance individual entropic occurrences under thermodynamic, morphogenetic imperatives.
Homeopathy is difficult to pin down and characterize because of disagreements among homeopaths on the following issues:
•Whether homeopathy must be practiced immaculately and puristically or whether it can be combined happily with allopathy and/or other vitalistic modalities;
•Whether homeopathic cures must be delivered as a single dose of a Simillimum or whether remedies can be more or just as effectively combined;
•Whether low-potency doses (less diluted, less succussed, and more resembling conventional allopathic pharmacy) or high-potency doses (more diluted and succussed and “energetic”) are the benchmarks of reliable homeopathic practice;
•Whether “wrong” remedies, especially in high potencies, are dangerous or just ineffective and harmless;
•Whether remedies, once inculcated, continue to be effective or can be antidoted and reversed by coffee, alcohol, dental drills, radiation, and a litany of other culprits;
•Whether homeopathy has a conventional biophysical explanation and can (or must) be experimentally explicated or represents a mysterious force and action that only needs to be applied by precedent (without understanding its mechanism) to heal actual sick people;
•Whether homeopathy requires its microdose pharmacy or the virtues of its vital rubrics can be transferred without a literal pill in psychic, spiritual, paraphysical, or radionic formats.
This book is the story of these paradoxes and anomalies in the evolution of an enigmatic medical modality.