Just Visiting: The Joys of Teaching, Brutally Honest, Ruthlessly Frank

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I am always honored when I am asked to be interviewed by a fellow blogger, especially one like Dr. Amit Nagpal, whose passion of healing is obvious to all his readers.  He recently sent me a list of very interesting questions for me to look over and answer.  So I wanted to let you know about the interview and to give you the link to find it.  Just go here.

Dr. Amit

Dr. Amit calls his blog “The Joys of Teaching.”  As he writes, “The blog was initially inspired by my passion for teaching.  Though I have personally moved to consulting and coaching the title remains my first love, ‘The Joy of Teaching.’  In any case, teaching (sharing knowledge) and co-learning are the basic principled behind consulting, coaching and training.”

Amit’s blog also features “Life Mantras for Your Sustainable Success.”  Among his tools for success are prayer and meditation, making his a most unusual spirit-based practice.  I strongly recommend that you spend some time with Amit at his blog.  It is filled with useful information.  I added the link to my recently started Blogroll, that you can find at the bottom of the right column.  (I intend to develop this list of links as time goes on, to bring you direct connection to some of the most exciting holistic sites on the internet.)

Due to space restrictions, Dr. Amit was unable to present the entire interview on his blog, so I present it here.  One question, on the topic of the Bach Flower Remedies, was omitted.  And since the Bach Remedies are among my favorite healing tools, I decided to present the material here:

Dr. Amit:  Tell us what are Bach Flower remedies and what do you mean by homeopathy in thought and action.

Vinton McCabe:  Bach Flower Remedies are a very special little pharmacy of healing tools.  Edward Bach was an allopathic physician who, at the time of the First World War, was transferred to Hahnemann Hospital in London to continue his work as a microbiologist.  That hospital was, of course, named for Samuel Hahnemann, the Father of Homeopathy.

During his time there, Bach became well versed in Hahnemann’s methods and in homeopathic philosophy.  So much so that he himself developed a group of homeopathic remedies that were based in part on the work he was already doing.  These remedies, known as bowel nosodes, are still in use today in the treatment of patients with myriad diseases.

After the war, Bach built a private practice in London and became one of the most successful physicians of his day.  And yet, due in large part to his new-found understanding of Hahnemann’s work, Bach became more and more disenchanted with allopathic methods and medicines.  At this point, one might think that Bach would become a homeopath, and yet he did not.  While he used some homeopathic methods in his practice, he felt that homeopathy, powerful as it is, was simply too difficult a practice for even medical professionals to get right.

And so, in the final years of his life, he closed up shop in London, moved to a small town on the English coast and dedicated his time and energy to attempting to find a new way of working—a method of healing that would be similar in action to homeopathy, but that would be simple enough for even lay people to use to treat themselves and their loved ones.

The result of his work are the Bach Flower Remedies, a group of thirty-eight remedies that are taken from the plants that were native to the countryside in which he lived.  It is said that Bach gathered the plants around him and potentized them, just as homeopathic remedies are potentized, to a zero potency, or what, in homeopathic medicine, is called a Mother Tincture.  Where homeopathic remedies continue to be diluted from the zero potency to many, many different potencies, Bach chose to leave his there, at the point at which the Bach remedies are the perfect balance between homeopathic and herbal remedies.

They are wonderfully safe, simple to use and can be tremendous tools for healing.  I have time and again seen cases in which these simple remedies act when nothing else will.  Because of my love of these remedies, I wrote a book on them—the book that is actually my favorite of all that I have written.  It’s called The Healing Bouquet:  Exploring Bach Flower Remedies and it has all the information that anyone needs to safely and effectively use the remedies.

For those who are interested in learning more about the Bach Flower Remedies, the link to my book is here.

To answer the rest of you question, the concept of Homeopathy in Thought and Action is based upon something that James Tyler Kent said that I read long, long ago, but stayed with me ever since.  Kent—who was perhaps the United States’ finest homeopath, an eclectic physician who practiced roughly in the second half of the 19th century—said that homeopathic remedies are homeopathic in two ways:  by how they are made and by how they are used.

This is very important, because it means that a remedy can be potentized perfectly, by the two-step process set forth by Hahnemann himself, but, if that remedy is used like an allopathic medicine, it will act like an allopathic medicine.  In other words, there is  philosophy behind how homeopathic remedies are chosen and how they are used that must remain in place if the treatment is to be properly homeopathic.  And when we take our remedies and use them in allopathic ways, we bastardize our own treatments, making them semi-homeopathic and semi-allopathic.

An example of this might be blended remedies.  The mixtures that you see all the time in health food stores.  Because people are too afraid or too lazy to use single remedies, instead they buy a combination of ten or twelve different remedies for the treatment of a cold or a backache or some other specific condition.  Now homeopathic students all know that just using the remedies in treatment of a specific condition is wrong—as if the condition itself tells you what medicine to us—but on top of this, they are also using a mixture of many different remedies, all of which produce multiple symptoms.  How can they possibly expect a good result from such and action?

Homeopathy in Thought and Action is a guiding principle for both my classes and my books.  It means that, to be an effective consumer of homeopathics, or, even more important, to be an appropriate and skillful homeopathy, one must have and understanding of the philosophy and history of homeopathy first and then build and understanding of the materia medica and its uses.  You need to think right to use the remedies right—there is no way around it.

I think that the concept of Homeopathy in Thought and Action is so important that I named my entire series of Kindle exclusive books after the principle.  Each of these books looks specifically at an aspect of homeopathic philosophy or at a part of the materia medica, or even an individualized treatment, like the treatment of high blood pressure, so that, putting all the individual books together, one can get a very good overview of the philosophy and practice of homeopathic medicine.

Those interested in knowing more about this series of books can visit my Amazon Authors Page and look for the “Homeopathy in Thought and Action” series of books by clicking here.  Or on my website by clicking here.

The Organon, an Introduction

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If there is one book, one document that best expresses both the basic theory and the correct practice of homeopathy, it is Samuel Hahnemann’s Organon of the Medical Art.  (Note that in some translations it is referred to as the Organon of the Healing Art.)

 

"S. Hahnemann"

Samuel Hahnemann, The father of Homeopathy, author of the Organon

 

When I first heard of the book, I imagined it an encyclopedia of homeopathic practice, and was surprised on finding it that it is a small volume, containing just 291 aphorisms.  Each of these individual paragraphs contains a nugget of information, a piece of the puzzle of what homeopathy is and why it offers us the true potential for healing.  You see, each of the aphorisms represents a discovery: The Organon itself evolved with Hahnemann, as he improved upon his original vision of homeopathy through clinical experience and scientific trials.
The first edition of The Organon was published in Germany in 1810.  The second in 1819.  The third in 1824.  The fourth in 1829.  The fifth in 1833.  With each new edition were new aphorisms, new discoveries.  The fifth edition of 1833 was itself annotated and updated and published again in 1833.
Hahnemann’s letters to his publishers note the completion of a sixth edition as of February 1842.  Hahnemann, however, did not live to see this edition published.  Hahnemann’s widow, Melanie, and his other heirs did not release this sixth edition for publication until 1920.  Their reasons are matters of argument for Melanie’s supporters and detractors.
The sixth edition was revolutionary, even in homeopathic circles, in that it contains not only the sum total of Hahnemann’s work and inquiry that had been included in the previous five editions, but also because it included an exploration of the LM potencies, a new theory that was central to the final years of Hahnemann’s practice.
“Organon” is a Greek work, meaning “organ,” or “instrument.”  It, therefore, refers to the manner in which any philosophical or scientific research may be conducted.  “Organ” is a term applied to any number of works by various medical writers.  Francis Bacon adapted the term into the latinized “Organum” in his own writings on philosophical methods.  Hahnemann’s use of the term refers to the organ of knowledge required for him, as a physician, to be able to effectively carry through his life’s work.  While Hahnemann certainly published no small number of pamphlets and papers in his time, and also managed to present a Materia Medica of his original remedies, it is The Organon that presents the information that is central to his practice.
It is, therefore, amazing to me that The Organon is not studied by all those who wish to understand homeopathy, both professionals and lay persons alike. I do believe that you cannot practice homeopathy on any level without first studying The Organon.  It is, to me, rather like attempting to understand the beauty and mysteries of Christianity without ever reading the Bible.
It is my belief that, like many nominal Christians, whose entire knowledge of their faith is given them in weekly doses of not more than twenty minutes before the doxology, too many of us who profess a great interest in homeopathy would rather turn our attention to a book that lists three or four symptoms covered by each individual remedy before swallowing a remedy and getting as far away from homeopathic theory as possible, rather than to read Hahnemann’s own work and wrestle with what healing is, and how and why homeopathic healing takes place.  This, it seems to me, makes many who profess to be homeopaths nothing more than allopaths with milk sugar remedies, rather than true homeopathic practitioners and consumers.
No, we must read The Organon.  And those who wish to study it have been given a great gift:  in recent years, Wenda Brewster O’Reilly has presented the world with a new translation of the text, from its original German into English.  This new edition presents the work in a new light.  It is at once vibrant and highly readable, enlightening and comprehensible.  I could not recommend it more highly.