What the Physician Must Perceive – Curability by James Tyler Kent

Organon Section 3. If the physician clearly perceives what is to be cured in diseases, that is to say, in every individual case of disease: if he clearly perceives what is curative in medicines that is to say, in each individual medicine; and if he knows how to adapt, according to clearly-defined principles, what is curative in medicines to what he has discovered to be undoubtedly morbid in the patient, so that recovery must ensure-to adapt it as well in respect to the suitability of the medicine most appropriate according to its mode of action to the case before him, as also in respect to the exact mode of preparation and quantity of it required, and the proper period for repeating the dose; if finally, he knows the obstacles to recovery in each case and is aware how to remove them so that the restoration may be permanent: then he understands how to treat judiciously and rationally, and he is a true practitioner of the healing art.

The translator has correctly used here the word “perceive.” which is to see into, not merely to look upon with the external eye, but to clearly understand, to apprehend with the mind and understanding. If Hahnemann had said “see ” instead of perceive,” it might have been taken to mean seeing with the eye a tumor to be cut or by opening the abdomen, to see the diseased kidney, or, by examination of the urine, to see that there is albumen or sugar present, by removing which in some mysterious way the patient would be cured.

It is evident by this Hahnemann did not look upon pathological change or morbid anatomy as that which in disease constitutes the curative indication. The physician must perceive in the disease that which is to be cured, and the curative indication in each particular case of disease is the totality of the symptoms, i.e., the disease is represented or expressed by the totality of the symptoms, and this totality (which is the speech of nature) is not itself the ease of the disease, it only represents the disorder in the internal economy. This totality, which is really external, a manifestation in the tissues, will arrange itself into form to present, as it were, to the physician the internal disorder.

The first thing to be considered in a case is, What are the curative indications in this case? What signs and symptoms call the physician’s attention as curative signs and symptoms? This means not every manifestation is a curative indication. The results of disease occurring in the tissues, in chronic diseases, such as cancerous changes, tumors, etc., are of such a character that they cannot constitute curative signs; but those things which are curable, which are capable of change, which can be materially affected by the administration of remedies, the physician must know, they are the curative indications.

The physicians ought to have a well-grounded idea of government and law to which there are no exceptions; he ought to see the cause of disease action to be from centre to circumference, from the innermost of the man to his outermost. If law and government are present, then law directs every act taking place in the human system. Every government is from the centre to the circumference. Look at it politically. Whenever the system of central political government is not bowed to, anarchy and loss of confidence prevail. There are also commercial centres. We must recognize London, Paris, and New York as centres of commercial government in their different spheres.

Even the spider entrenches himself in his web and governs his universe, from the centre. There cannot be two governments; such would lead to confusion. There is but one unit in every standard. In man the centre of government is in the cerebrum and from it every nerve cell is governed. From it all actions take place for good or evil, for order or disorder; from it disease begins the healing process. It is not from external things that man becomes sick, not from bacteria nor environment, but from causes in himself. If the homoeopath does not see this, he cannot have a true perception of disease. Disorder in the vital economy is the primary state of affairs, and this disorder manifests itself by signs and symptoms.

In perceiving what is to be cured in disease one must proceed from generals to particulars, study disease in its most general features, not as seen upon one particular individual, but upon the whole human race. We will endeavour to bring this idea before the mind by taking as an example one of the acute miasms, not for the purpose of diagnosis, as this is easy, but to arrange it for a therapeutic examination. Let us take an epidemic, say, of scarlet fever, or grippe, or measles, or cholera.

If the epidemic is entirely different from anything that has hitherto appeared in the neighbourhood it is at first confusing. From the first few cases the physicians has a very vague idea of this disease, for he sees only a fragment of it, and gets only a portion of its symptoms. But the epidemic spreads and many patients are visited, and twenty individuals have perhaps been closely observed.

Now if the physician will write down all the symptoms that have been present in each case in a schematic form, arranging the mind symptoms of the different patients under “mind” and the head symptoms under “head”, and so on, following Hahnemann’s method, they-considered collectively-will present one image, as if one man had expressed all the symptoms, and in this way he will have that particular disease in schematic form. If he places opposite each symptom a number corresponding to the number of patients in which that symptom occured, he will find out the essential features of the epidemic.

For example, twenty patients had aching in the bones, and at once he sees that that symptom is a part of this epidemic. All the patients had catarrhal affections of the eye, and a measly rash, and these also must be recorded as pathognomonic symptoms. And so by taking the entire scheme and studying it as a whole, as if one patient had experienced all the symptoms, he is able to perceive how this new disease, this contagious disease, affects the human race, and each particular patient, and he is able to predicate of it what is general and what is particular. Every new patient has a few new symptoms; he has put his own stamp on that disease. Those symptoms that run through all are the pathognomonic symptoms; those which are rare are the peculiarities of the different people. This totality represents to the human mind, as nearly as possible, the nature of this sickness, and it is this nature that the therapeutist must have in mind.

Now let him take the next step, which is to find in general the remedies that correspond to this epidemic. By the aid of a repertory he will write after each one of these symptoms all the remedies that have produced that symptom. Having in this way gone through the entire schema, he can then begin to eliminate for practical purpose, and he will see that six or seven remedies run through the picture, and, therefore, are related to the epidemic, corresponding to its whole nature. This may be called the group of epidemic remedies for that particular epidemic, and with these he will manage to cure nearly all his cases.

The question now arises, which one is the remedy for each individual case? When he has worked out the half dozen remedies he can go through the Materia Medica and get their individual pictures so fixed in his head that he can use them successfully. Thus he proceeds from generals to particulars and there is no other way to proceed in homoeopathy. He is called to a family with half a dozen patients in bed from this epidemic, and he finds a little difference in each case so that one remedy is indicated in one patient and another remedy in another patient. There is no such thing in homoeopathy as administering one of these remedies to all in the family because of a diagnostic name.

Of course, every now and then will come up a rare and singular case, which will compel you to go outside of the usual group. Never allow yourself to be so cramped that you cannot go outside of the medicines that you have settled upon as medicine, say, for measles. All your nondescript cases of course will get Pulsatilla, because it is so similar to the nature of measles, but it does not do to be too limited or routine, but be sure in administering a remedy that the indications are clear. Every busy practitioner thinks of Ailanthus, Apis, Belladonna and Sulphur for malignant cases of scarlet fever, and yet he has often to go outside of that group.

So the physician perceives in the disease what it is that constitutes the curative indication.

This presents itself to his mind only when he is clearly conversant with the nature of the sickness, as, for instance, with the nature of scarlet fever, of measles, of typhoid fever,- the zymosis the blood changes, etc., so that when they arrive he is not surprised; when the typhoid state progresses he expects the tympanitic abdomen, the diarrhoea, the continued fever, the rash, the delirium and unconsciousness. These things stand out as the nature of typhoid.

When, therefore, he goes to the Materia Medica he at once calls up before his mind this nature of typhoid, and so is able to pick out the remedies that have such a nature. He sees in Phosphorus, Rhus, Bryonia, Baptisia, Arsenicum, etc., low forms of fever, corresponding to the typhoid condition. But when the patient jumps away out of the ordinary group of remedies, then it is that he has to go outside of the beaten track and find another remedy that also corresponds to the nature of typhoid fever.

By these remarks I am endeavouring to hold up before you that the physician regards as the curative indications of disease. First he sees the disease in general as to its nature, and then when an individual has this disease this individual will present in his own peculiarities the peculiar features of that disease. The homoeopath is in the habit of studying the slightest shades of difference between patients, the little things that point to the remedy. If we looked upon disease only as the old-school physician sees it we would have no means of distinction, but it is because of the little peculiarities manifested by every individual patient, through his inner life, through everything he thinks, that the homoeopath is enabled to individualize.

“If the physician clearly perceives what is curative in medicines, that is to say, in each individual medicine.” Here again he progresses from general to particulars. He cannot become acquainted clearly with the action of medicines individually until he becomes acquainted with the action of medicines collectively, proceeding from a collective study to a particular. This is to be done by studying provings.

Suppose we were to start out in this class and make a proving of some unknown drug. It would be expected that you would all bring out the same symptoms, but the same general features would run through this class of provers; each individual would have his own peculiarities. NO 1 might bring out the symptoms of the mind more clearly than NO.2; No. 2 might bring out the symptoms of the bowels more clearly than No.1; No.3 might bring out heal symptoms very strongly, etc., Now if these were collected together as if one man had proved the medicine, we would then have an image of that medicine. If we had a hundred provers we would go through the whole nature of this remedy and perceive how it affected the human race, how it acted as a unit.

What I have said before about studying the nature of disease must be applied the study of the nature a remedy.

A remedy is in condition to be studied as a whole it is on paper, the mind symptoms under one head the symptoms of the scalp under another, and so on throughout the centre of the body in accordance with Hahnemann’s schema We may go on adding to it, developing it, nothing which of the symptoms or groups of symptoms are the most prominent.

A remedy is not fully proved until it has permeated and made sick all regions of the body. When it has done this it is ready for study and for use. Many of our provings are only fragments and are given in the books for what they are worth. Hahnemann followed up in full all the remedies that he handed down to us; in these the symptoms have been brought out upon the entire man. Each individual medicine must be studied in that way, as to how it changes the human race.

To understand the nature of the chronic miasms, psora, syphilis and sycosis, the homoeopath must proceed in identically the same way as with the acute. Hahnemann has put on paper an image of psora. For eleven years he collected the symptoms of those patients who were undoubtedly psoric and arranged them in schematic form until the nature of this great miasm became apparent. Following upon that he published antipsoric remedies which in their nature have a similarity to psora. To be a really successful physician the homoeopath must proceed along the same lines in regard to syphilis and sycosis.

Now, when the physician sees, as it were, in an image, the nature of disease, when he is acquainted with every disease to which we are subject and when he sees the nature of the remedies in common use, just as clearly as he perceives disease, then on listening to the symptoms of a sick man he knows instantly the remedies that have produced upon healthy man symptoms similar to these. This is what paragraph 3 teaches; it looks towards making the homoeopathic physician so intelligent that when he goes to the bedside of a patient he can clearly perceive the nature of disease and the nature of the remedy. It is a matter of perception; he sees with his understanding. When a physician understands the nature of disease and of remedies, then it is that he will be skilful.


The old school of Allopathy considered about `sickness’ and `medicine’ in a particular way.

– The sphere of sickness was limited to the physical level. Only tissue changes were seen and considered.

– The source of sickness, process of sickness, the nature of sickness and the concept of real health were not studied.

– Only the result of sickness was felt with fingers, seen with eyes and observed by sense through instruments.

– The meaning of restoration of health was confined to relief in the ailments of particular organs where they appeared. – Drugs were used in crude forms to remove the ailments.

– The system was based entirely on experience. Decisions were made on opinions of individuals at different times and concensus of opinions or hypothesis.

– Pathological findings formed the basis of the diagnosis.

– The internal of man–his mental and emotional aspects were not considered.

– Symptoms–the language of sickness, at the levels of mind, emotion and body were not studied.

– Every pathological result had its corresponding bacteria.

– Doctrine of Vital Force had no place for them.

– Prime importance was given to the organs of man, and not to the man himself which constituted of body mind and emotions.

Will and understanding of man not studied and considered

Dr. Hahnemann `proved’ the drugs on healthy enlightened human bodies. He found that the drugs affected the mind, the emotions and the body and the effects are expressed through symptoms and modalities. He also found that these drugs in potency are able to remove Similar Sickness appearing in human beings. He discovered an Universal Truth; a truth based on `science’ where opinions do not matter, experiences do not form basis; source of sickness, process of sickness and the nature of sickness is explored and the correct curative agent is found.

Dr. Kent has interpreted and explained the various aspects of Hahnemann’s “Organon of the Healing Art”. His lectures are so vivid that they mirror the fundamental laws of health and healing to the mankind at all levels of understanding. This book was written about 90 years ago-but still, the concepts hold true in the present times. He was an empirical Hahnemannian. He could not compromise with the deviation from principles and philosophy and we find his criticism sometimes sharp and bitter of `Pseudo-homoeopaths’.

– Man is the will and the understating and the house which he lives in is his body.

– The organs are not the man. The man is prior to the organs.

– The order of sickness as well as the order of cure is from man to his organs. The real sick man is prior to the sick sick body.

– A man is sick prior to localization of disease. When we wait for localization, the results of disease have rendered the patient incurable.

– Symptoms are but the language of nature, talking out, as it were, and showing as clearly as the daylight, the internal nature of the sickman or woman.

– Crude drugs cannot heal the sick and that what changes they effect are not real but only apparent.

– Tissue changes are of the body and are the results of the disease, they are not the disease.

– The bacteria are results of the disease. The disease cause is more subtle.

– The remedy, which will produce on healthy man similar symptoms, is the master of the situation, is the necessary antidote, will overcome the sickness, restore the will and understanding to order and cure the patient.

– Man consists in what he thinks and what he loves and there is nothing else in man.

– The physician has to `perceive’ in the disease that which is to be cured, and that is through `totality of symptoms’. He has to perceive the nature of disease and the nature of the remedy.

– Experience has only a confirmatory place. It cannot take the place of science and truth.

– All true diseases of the economy flow from centre to circumference. All miasms are true diseases.

– The active cause is within, and the apparent cause of sickness is without. If a man has no deep miasmatic influence, outer causes will not affect him.

– Homoeopathy has two parts: the science of homoeopathy are the art of homoeopathy. One has to learn the art of homoeopathy to prepare himself for the application of the science of homoeopathy.

– Vital force is constructive and formative, and in its thing in the universe has its aura. Every star and planet has it. The remedy to be homoeopathic must be similar in quality and similar in action to the disease cause.

– As soon as the internal economy is deprived in any manner of its freedom, death is threatening; where freedom is lost, death is sure to follow.

– Potency should suit the varying susceptibility of sickman.

– Any more than just enough to supply the susceptibility is a surplus and is dangerous.

– Human race has been greatly disordered in the economy because of surplus drug taking.

– Primitive cause is not in the bacteria. Bacteria themselves have a cause to appear and survive.

– Over sensitive patients are actually poisoned by the inappropriate administration of potentized medicines.

– Their chronic miasms are complicated with chronic drugging and its effect upon the vital force.

– The physician who can only hold in his memory the symptoms of a disease or a remedy will never succeed as a homoeopath.

– The majority of such as call themselves homoeopaths at the present time, are perfectly incompetent to examine a patient, and therefore incompetent to examine homoeopathy.

– It is impossible to test homoeopathy without learning how to get the disease image so before the eyes that the homoeopathic remedy can be selected.

– At the present day, there is almost no such thing as an unprejudiced mind.

– Do not prescribe until you have found the remedy that is similar to the whole case, even although it is clear in your mind that one remedy may be more similar to one particular group of symptoms and another remedy to another group.

– It is unaccountable, therefore, that some of our homoeopathic practitioners make use of palliatives that are so detrimental to the patients.