OUR REMEDIES: WHY THEY ACT by H.A. Roberts
Dr. Roberts’s discussion on “Knowledge of medicine”…
*** IN our thesis that homoeopathy is fundamental, that it is scientific and that it is based on natural law, we have quoted findings from other branches of pure science that have been so uniform and constant as to definitely point the way toward underlying laws. These, to recapitulate briefly, were from astronomy, mathematics and biology, and have been compared with the closely similar findings of the action of drugs and their application (1) in states of health to produce, artificially, conditions simulating disease, or (2) to restore diseased states to the normal balance of health.
Let us consider once more some of our deductions set forth in former chapters on “Vital Energy”, and particularly in that chapter on “Vital Energy”, in its Universal Application”. That we may have it before us for examination in comparing our deductions from other branches of scientific investigation with our study of the natural laws underlying the principles adapted for use in the science of healing known as homoeopathy, we shall quote from these chapters :
These substances (capable of being raised by potentization) are derived from three kingdoms, mineral, vegetable and animal. We cannot definitely say that the mineral substances in themselves possess vital energy, but they are fragments of that which composes the planet, Earth, and that planet either possesses some form of vital energy in itself or is susceptible to being activated by vital energy to such as extent that it performs its appointed movements according to the law; and we can use these minerals, by proper preparation, in the form of vital energy, not to perpetuate life but to influence it on all three planes of body, mind and spirit, that the vital energy of the individual may be thereby guarded against decay and death….
We recognize the presence of vital energy in vegetable growth, for it is evidenced in growth and development on the plant, according to the natural law of development….
We comprehend most easily the animation, the presence of vital energy, in the animal kingdom….
It is quite the province of the homoeopathic physician, especially if he believes that homoeopathy is based on the fundamental principles underlying all elemental construction and development, to attempt to understand something of the basis of the elements with which he has to deal, both in states of sickness and in health. This implies a knowledge of drugs, not only their action but their derivation, and this not in superficial terms, but in terms of basic derivation and inter- relation with universal construction. This deals with physics in a very definite way, and in a much deeper, more constructive and significant way than we usually consider.
In his little book, *Science and the New Civilization, Millikan gives us some valuable hints in his chapter on “Available Energy” His statement in this chapter is that:
All knowledge that helps towards an understanding of the nature of the universe of which we are a part is useful, for we need very much more of it than we now have, or shall have for centuries to come, to enable us to direct our energies towards wise, effective living instead of wasting them on beating tomtoms, inventing perpetual motion machines, or chasing either physical or social rainbows.
If it be wise for the average person to direct their energies toward an understanding of things about them, how much more is it the province of him who is entrusted with the care of others through the use of drugs, built up and potentized out of the elements!
Let us consider further some of Dr. Millikan’s statements in this chapter, and their bearing on our specialty.
It is interesting and a very important fact from the practical viewpoint, too, that more than ninety-five per cent. of this universe, so far as we can now see, is made up of a very few elements.
*First. The spectroscopy of the heavens shows the enormous prevalence everywhere of hydrogen, but hydrogen is merely the primordial positive and negative electrons tied together, or in process of being so tied.
*Second. The spectroscopy of the heavens also shows that helium is an exceptionally abundant, and a widely distributed, element, even though, because of its lightness and inability to combine with anything, even with itself, the earth has not retained much of it. Significant is it, however, that the alpha particle given off by all the heavy radioactive elements is nothing but helium, so that it must have a certain prevalence even on earth in the structure of the heavier elements.
*Third. Dr. ***I. S. Bowen, at the California Institute, solved, with consummate skill, the half-century-old riddle of “nebulium”, and has shown that the substance abundant throughout the heavens, giving rise to these mysterious spectral lines, is mainly oxygen and nitrogen. But oxygen alone constitutes 55 per cent. of the earth’s crust, and about the same proportion of meteorites. Oxygen and nitrogen, then, which for our present purpose will be treated as one element, since they have nearly the same atomic weight and will be henceforth listed under the name of the stronger brother, constitute the third extraordinarily abundant element and it is to be noted that there are no abundant elements at all between helium and oxygen. Carbon has a certain minor prevalence, but because of its nearness in atomic weight to nitrogen and oxygen it may here be treated as merely a feeble satellite to oxygen.
*Fourth. Ninety-five per cent. of weight of all meteorites consists of oxygen (54 per cent.), magnesium (13 per cent.), silicon (15 per cent). and iron (13 per cent.), while 76 pr cent. of the earth’s crust is composed of the three elements, oxygen (55 per cent.), silicon (16 per cent.), and aluminium (5 per cent)., no other element rising over 2 per cent. Iron constitutes 1.5 per cent. of the crust, but it is supposed to be very largely represented in the interior. Because of the closeness of their atomic weight, magnesium, aluminium and silicon (24, 27, 28) may, for our present purpose, be regarded as a single element and given the name of the strongest brother, silicon. There are then no abundant elements whatever between oxygen and silicon, nor between silicon and iron (atomic weight 56), and from an *engineering standpoint the universe may be said to be made up of the primordial positive and negative electrons, and of four *elements built out of them, namely, helium, oxygen, silicon and iron.
… Mankind, if he is here a billion years hence, will be satisfying his main needs, as he satisfies them now, with the four elements, hydrogen, oxygen, silicon and iron, *i.e. with water, air, earth and Fe, where the last symbol stands for iron rather then for fire, which was the fourth constituent of the world of the ancients.
To comprehend the action of our remedies it is well to look somewhat to the sources from which our remedies are derived and to weigh their possible activity in their natural state.
We regard the sources of drugs lying in three distinct groups– animal, vegetable, and mineral; or we may make two classifications and say living and non-living.
Sir ***J. C. Bose, in his *Plant Autographs and Their Revelations, writes :
Do not the two sets of records of the living and non-living tell us of some property of matter common and persistent? Do they now show us that the same kind of molecular upset on stimulation occurs on both inorganic and the living–that the physiological is closely connected with the physical–that there is no abrupt break, but a uniform march of law? The dust particle and the earth, the plant and the animal, are all sensitive. Thus, with an enlarged cosmic sense, we may regard the million orbs and thread their path through space, as something akin to organisms, having a definite history of their past and an evolutionary progress for their future.
And again :
In pursuing investigations on the border region of physics and physiology, I was amazed to find boundary line vanishing and points of contact emerge between the realms of the Living and Non-living. Metals are found to respond to stimuli; they are subject to fatigue, stimulated by certain drugs and “killed” by poisons.
For the purpose of convenience, however, we may divide drugs or substances from which homoeopathic medications are prepared, into the three classes of animal, vegetable, and mineral (or elements).
We expect to find the highest form of living activity in animals. We have been taught to expect strong reaction to the various forms of defence of individual species of animal life. Thus, we find the venom of snakes has a deep action on other forms of animal life. We deduce that even when venom is prepared in minute doses, it will also have a strong reaction on animal life. reaction on animal life. Sir ***J. C. Bose has verified this in his experiments with the action of cobra venom (*Naja) on animals and plants. He found that in doses of 0.5 c.c. of solution of venom, one part in a thousand, when injected into the vein of a fish the heart stopped b eating in twelve minutes. This action was automatically recorded on delicate instruments. The same experiment was next applied to the plant, a solution of one per cent. being used. A great depression was first recorded, then the pulse beat came to a permanent stop, then came wilting and decomposition.
It is hardly necessary to go into the data available for further proofs of the activity of snake venoms; our homoeopathic provings preceded by many years the acknowledgment of the allopathic school that venoms in minute doses were exceedingly efficacious in many serious conditions, especially those showing great derangement of the vascular and nervous systems.
That forms of defence, such as spider venoms, sepia, stings of bees and insects, and many other natural weapons, have been found effective in causing and treating bodily discomforts may not be denied by those who have observed their action.
Thus we may pass on to a consideration of plant life as a source from which we may expect to derive useful remedies. We expect, and find, great reaction from all those growths which manifest, in their natural states, the power of protection through defence by poisonous properties. Thus we find all members of the *Rhus family exceedingly active, both in their crude state and in potentized form, affecting strongly the human organism in countless ways.
The list of plants that strongly affect the human organism ranges through all forms, from the forms that approach the animal development in their power of capturing and devouring insects, such as the *Drosera and *Sarracenia purpurea, to the lowliest and hardiest growths, such as *Sticta pulmonaria, and is almost endless. To do more than glance at the long list of possibilities that open to the homoeopathic physician through this source would be a task far too long for one chapter. We may take ourselves at once to the observation of those substances that may be most truly said to be non-living, yet which must enter largely into the composition of the living, and that encompass us.
Even more deeply acting than the venoms, we find the mineral and chemical elements. Plant life, through its power of simplifying these substances readily, form the closest relationship to the mineral kingdom, for here the elements are often absorbed and made available for ingestion into the animal, directly or in new combinations that render them even more active. Thus we see the reasons for *Pulsatilla’s strong action on the human economy. Dr. Underhill tells us that *Pulsatilla is one of the most effective chemical laboratories known, assimilating the mineral content and elements in the soil and rebuilding it into a most deep-acting and complicated influence upon the human organism.
The most cursory glance at the chemical elements of our most common plant remedies must reveal how deeply bound these are to the chemical elements of light weight–far below the atomic weight of those known to be radioactive– and these may be classed as those written of by Millikan (to quote again from the same source we have quoted above):
…. *For the great majority of the elements, such as constitute the bulk of our world, are in their state of maximum stability already. They have no energy to give up in the disintegrating process. They can only be broken apart by working upon them, or by supplying energy to them. Man can probably learn to disintegrate them, but he will always do it “by the sweat of his brow.”
But having thus disposed of the process of atomic disintegration, and found it completely wanting as a source of available energy, since the radioactive elements are necessarily negligible in quantity, let us next see what there is to be learned about the process of *atom-building as a source of energy….
Millikan goes on:
…. the recent experimental work on cosmic rays, have just thrown a flood of light on the process going on in this universe in which we live. For first Dr. Cameron and I have recently found three definite cosmic ray bands, or frequencies, of penetrating powers, or ray-energies, respectively, about twelve, fifty and one hundred times the maximum possible energies that are, or can be, obtained from any radioactive, that is, any disintegrating, process. The highest frequency band has so enormous a penetrating power that it passes through more than 200 feet of water or eighteen feet of lead before becoming completely absorbed, while two or three inches of lead absorbs the hardest gamma rays. This discovery of a banded structure in cosmic rays shows that these rays are not produced, as are X-rays, by the impact upon the atoms of matter of electrons that have acquired large velocities by falling through powerful electric fields, as we earlier suggested–the fields necessary to produce frequencies as high as those of the highest observed cosmic rays are equivalent to 216,000,000 volts–but that *they are rather produced by definite and continually recurring atomic transformations involving very much greater energy–chances than any occurring in radioactive processes.
*Taking Einstein’s equation and Aston’s curve as a guide there are no possible atomic transformations capable of yielding rays of the enormous penetrating power observed by us, except those corresponding to the building up or creation of the abundant elements like helium, oxygen, silicon, and iron out of hydrogen, or possibly in the case of the last two elements out of helium.. observed cosmic rays are the signals broadcast throughout the heavens of the births of the common elements out of positive and negative electrons.
Thus we find that in the birth of, say, two of our common earth elements, iron and silicon, we find tremendous powers liberated in the heavens. (For convenience Millikan in this article speaks of magnesium and aluminium as coincident with silicon, because of their close atomic weights.) We all know their effectiveness when energy is released by long trituration and powerful succussion. Chemical analysis of some of our common plant remedies reveals the presence of one or more of these common earth elements, assimilated, broken into a form that supplies life-energy to the plant. We find in a cursory examination of *Lycopodium clavatum that it contains aluminium. Consider what this element, that has a powerful effect upon animal tissue and animal energy when its powers are released by reducing it to the form of the homoeopathic potency–consider, I say its profound effect after its assimilation by the plant, its energies there partially released for effective reaction, and that in turn undergoing a further breaking up and disintegration by the process of trituration and potentization.
The history of the *Lycopodiaceae may be of still further interest in giving us the reason for its effectiveness. Among the old forms of life–those forms which have existed longest upon the earth–we find the mosses, and of these this family is a hardy member. It is probably one of the oldest living forms of earthy plant life (that is, dependent both upon soil and water). It has persisted past all changes in circumstances and conditions, and probably has changed its form less to meet changing conditions than almost any other form of life except possibly the *Equisetum, another of the early surviving forms. This tenacity of life, adapting itself to circumstances without conforming, bespeaks a tenacity of energy that, when released, must powerfully effect that which it touches.
*Equisetum hymenale contains silicon (in the form of oxide) and magnesium; in analysis the amount of silicon may run from 7.5 per cent. to 41.2 per cent. If at their birth these elements register such tremendous energy as the cosmic waves reveal, what effectiveness must we expect when it has been assimilated, broken down, first in plant life and then by trituration and potentization even in minute quantities?
When animal, vegetable or mineral substances are potentized they are rendered more potent because of the breaking up, disintegration of thin atomic relationships, that place them in a form where they are directly upon the dynamic force of the individual. That is, in their disintegration their energy is liberated by releasing the radioactive power. Through the radioactivity exerting itself upon the vital energy of the individual the potency is made effective.
Thus we are forced to recognize different forms of energy–the discharge of different energies or rays –from what we have considered as inanimate metals and elements. We find that they respond energetically in much the same way as plants and animals; not alone in their simple states do we find this response, but again and again as they are assimilated, broken down and rebuilt in different forms of life, from the simple assimilation and complicated rebuilding of the plant to the profound reaction on all living substance when they are in potentized form.
We recognize that elements having high atomic weights are radioactive; they give off, spontaneously, rays of different velocity and penetrating power, and in their radioactivity, their dissemination of energy, they are themselves changed. Einstein expresses this change when he says: “The change of mass equals the change of energy. As they vary energy vanishes with the mass and so they are equal.”
*Mass, in this sense, does not mean bulk, as we commonly think of it. It is rather the sum total of that which gives off energy, or is capable of giving off energy, and of which energy is some form is a part. As in mathematics, that which remains after subtraction is not as great as before. One cannot go on subtracting without coming to the end of that from which we would subtract.
Thus we see that uranium, or thorium, after having discharged its rays for a long period, is so changed that we recognize it as radium. Radium, in turn, after exhausting a certain degree of its radioactive powers, becomes lead. For instance, we know that uranium, being the heaviest element, would be number 92 in the scale of atomic numbers, with an atomic weight of 238.14. Thorium, number90, has an atomic weight of 232.12 and is so similar in some phases of its nature to uranium that it is also a source of radium; it stands in the atomic scale of 88 with an atomic weight of 225.97. Lead has an atomic number of 82 with an atomic weight of 207.22. The differing atomic weights of these substances demonstrate Einstein’s statement regarding the change of mass equalling the change in energy.
We have spoken before of *homoeopathy in its relation to fundamental laws, and this chapter is an attempt to set forth further deductions on that basis.
Thus we comprehend that every step toward understanding of the working of the natural laws brings us to a clearer vision of a few basic cosmic laws, fundamentally few in number but with a multiplicity of manifestations. The laws governing homoeopathy are seemingly not closely associated with laws governing forms of “pure science”, yet the knowledge is borne in upon us that this is one manifestation of that which is basic; it differs only in its manifestation and not in its essence. We must teach ourselves to discriminate between the multiple manifestations (or applications of the law) through differing forms–as they appear to casual observation–and their essences, which are so closely similar as to lead us to question if they be not fundamentally identical.
Sir ***J. C. Bose, from whose invaluable records we have quoted from time to time, quotes from ancient Hindu philosophy a throbbing, vital truth to which every thoughtful homoeopathic physician can subscribe and that he must heed:
THEY WHO SEE BUT ONE, IN ALL THE CHANGING MANIFOLDNESS OF THIS UNIVERSE, UNTO THEM BELONGS ETERNAL TRUTH–UNTO NONE ELSE, UNTO NONE ELSE.