VITAL FORCE by H.A. Roberts
Without this vital energy, the cell, or the whole body, becomes inanimate and is dead. It is only when the vital energy is present that there is a living organism, capable of physical action and of the exercise of mental powers and the ability to take hold on the spiritual forces….
**THERE is much misapprehension about homoeopathy among physicians as well as among the laity. Among physicians there is a feeling that if we know the materia medica that is all that is required. The materia medica is indeed important, and its thorough comprehension and study is needed at all times; but unless the homoeopathic physician has a concept of the philosophy, of the reasons underlying the administration of the remedy, he will never make a careful homoeopathic physician.
The study of the materia medica by Hahnemann would have caused no disturbance among the medical men of his day; it was when Hahnemann taught his fundamental principles that he drew forth antagonism and ire as against a new and revolutionary, (and therefore dangerous) doctrine. So in order to understand homoeopathy, and to get the proper concept of administering our remedies, and even of taking the case and eliciting symptoms, we must get Hahnemann’s concept of the principles that enter into the studies of the homoeopathic physician.
One of the first and foremost elements with which the homoeopathic physician must be conversant is the different forms of energy, for it is on this basis only that we can prescribe homoeopathically. In Hahnemann’s *Organon of the Healing Art he gives us the following :
In the healthy condition of man the spirit-like vital force, the dynamis that animates the material body, rules with unbounded sway and retains all the parts of the organism in admirable harmonious vital operation as regards both sensations and functions, so that our indwelling, reason-gifted mind can freely employ this living, healthy instrument for the higher purposes of our existence.
This was the first introduction to the medical world of the rational concept of life itself.
We recognize life in three parts, the body, the mind, and the spirit. This is a trinity, and this trinity is always present in all life and in some form in every part of our organism. These forces react in sympathy and are interdependent. (Vide *Organon 43.)
No organ, no tissue, no cell, no molecule, is independent of the activities of the others, but the life of the each one of these elements is merged into the life of the whole. the unit of human life cannot be the organ, the tissue, the cell, the molecule, the atom, but the whole organism, the whole man.
We are prone to think of attained life as composed of these three members which make it a trinity, but we must remember also that life is a unity from its inception. When the two parent cells are united that vital principle, the vital energy, is already present; and the ego of the completed cell does not change one iota after once beginning its process; it has in itself and of itself the power to develop the cells, the physical, because of the continual flowing through them of the vital energy which dominates the whole. It has within itself the power to develop muscle, nerve, brain-cells individual in themselves, gifted with the powers for specialized uses in the future. Yet these are all a part of the whole man; and while we have in each individual infinite powers of development, unless the ego in its initial stage is energized and capable of development, it will never grow to its highest capacity. Without this vital energy, the cell, or the whole body, becomes inanimate and is dead. It is only when the vital energy is present that there is a living organism, capable of physical action and of the exercise of mental powers and the ability to take hold on the spiritual forces.
No two individuals are alike. The development of the vital energy in one differs from that in another. Each one possesses a special personality and a special psychophysical construction which is determined by the interplay of hereditary tendencies and factors of disease.
The growth and development of each individual progresses as it draws upon the physical energy, and upon the dynamic energy as it is manifest in the brain, and upon the spiritual energy. these different manifestations of energy are essentially different in their workings. The law of growth is the same in one as in another. The mingling of these expressions of energy is the united personality, and when the energy functions properly in all the three manifestations the whole personality grows harmoniously, for the energy is the power house supplies the impetus of growth for the whole economy, the whole individual. When the energy functions improperly there is greater growth on one plane than on another and the personality is not symmetrical in its development.
The nature of energy is dynamic, and this dynamis penetrates every particle, every cell, every atom of the human economy. Any disturbance of this vital energy or force results in a disfigured or development of the whole human economy. Such a disturbance may come from pre-natal influences, such as the effects of sudden fright; it may be caused by indulgences on the part of either or both parents at the time of conception; the cause may lie in excessive worry during gestation; it may be to hereditary stigma of either one or both of the parent cells, which may perhaps be due to hereditary disease or miasms. Like an indelible brand, the warping of this dynamic energy is a stain that ” will not out”.
On the other hand, after the separate individual life has been established, we know how terrific are the consequences of fright : the fright of the mother who transmits the effects to the nursing child, with a consequent disturbance to the vital energy long after the incident is forgotten. Or the mother’s vital force may be disturbed by worries, or by sudden fright, and she herself may suffer from the consequent serious disturbance. These are but a few instances where there may be serious disturbances of the vital force.
The influence of this vital force on the whole organism is so delicately adjusted and so intimately connected with every part, that seemingly distant organs or unrelated symptoms show the effects of any disturbance of the vital force; and no one can prophesy what the influence may be on the part of the economy or what direction will be taken by the manifestations in each individual, but his vital energy will direct the course with unerring precision.
The appearance of these disturbances is a reflection of the inward turmoil and confusion of the harmonious action which the vital force has suffered. This brings us to the point where we must acknowledge that disturbance of any part is the manifestation of an inner disturbance and is not a local confusion of certain muscles or of certain groups of nerves, or arteries, or even of the mind itself; but that it is an expression of the whole disturbance manifesting itself perhaps locally or in seemingly unrelated parts; it is an expression of the disturbed vital energy, and as a manifestation of the man as a unit, and not of the separate parts of his body. That brings us to the point of looking upon disease as a dynamic expression of the disturbance of the harmony and rhythm of the vital energy. That rhythm may be so disturbed as to increase the pace or to lower the vitality, and that in itself either raises or lowers the reactions of the body and of the mind and of the spirit. They are all united under the supreme mastery of the vital energy.
In treating disease we are drawing also upon another storehouse of dynamic force, which acts almost synchronously with the disturbed vital force that is in the body. The pace is similar, the symptoms are similar. We are dealing with the similar remedy. Dr. Boger illustrates this by the picture of the runaway train, where an engine is sent, not in the opposite direction to meet and combat force with force, but in the same direction, increasing in pace until it is equal in pace to the runway; and is then in a position to subdue its speed.
Disease symptoms show themselves in unified order in the physical, the mental and the spiritual spheres, but each individual does not show necessarily disturbances in all of these spheres in manifesting diseased conditions. One, the insane, may accentuate the mental; one the physical; and one, the criminal, the disturbance of the spiritual forces; each is accentuated according to the tendencies of the vital energy and the individual reaction to the dynamic disturbance.
Any disturbance of this vital energy immediately shows itself in lack of harmony through the outward manifestations of our beings; in other words, symptoms. When harmonious functioning is disturbed, we get sickness as a result, and it has as its base and inception this lack of harmony in the flow of vital energy through the body. This is manifest in disease as it naturally develops because of disturbed vital force, and it develops also in disturbed vital force the proving of remedies, showing the action of remedies and the very nature of the remedies themselves.
This is the reason why the remedies are potentized so that they may reach more surely the vital energy of the individual. Were they not in potential form they would not reach the vital energy as promptly and directly, and it is a question whether they would not be in a toxic form which would destroy or subvert the vital energy without showing the proper symptomatology. The best provings that we have, showing the finer differentiations and the most pronounced reaction, are made from the potencies from the 30th upward, because it is in this form that they more readily meet the vital energy as it pervades the whole organism, and they create reactions that are not capable of being produced in the cruder exhibitions, which are largely toxic.
The action of the proven remedy is similar to the action of disease from whatever source. Disease first must be caused by a disturbance of the vital energy and that in itself sets in motion a train of symptoms exhibiting an exact picture of the way in which the vital energy is disturbed. It is only from these pictures that we can gather an understanding of the inner workings of the sick individual. It is only through the careful observation of the provings of the potencies that we can know the action of any given remedy, to understand where it has made its impress on the vital force. The vital force is resilient and impressions not only show forth promptly but over a considerable period of time, and in orderly groups of symptoms, even as does natural disease.
*Organon, Pars. 10,11 :
The material organism, without the vital force, is capable of no sensation, no function, no self-preservation; it derives all sensation and performs all the functions of life solely by means of the immaterial being ( the vital force) which animates the material organism in health and in disease.
When a person falls ill it is only this spiritual, self-acting (automatic) vital force, everywhere present in the organism, that is primarily deranged by the dynamic influence upon it of a morbific agent inimical to life; it is only the vital force, deranged to such an abnormal state, that can furnish the organism with its disagreeable sensations and incline it to the irregular processes which we call disease; for, as a power invisible in itself, and only cognizable by its effects on the organism, its morbid derangement only makes itself known by the manifestation of disease in the sensations and functions of those parts of the organism exposed to the senses of the observer and physician; that is, by morbid symptoms, and in no other way can it make itself known.
This brings us to a consideration of the unhampered expression of the vital force and its influence in disease and cure. As we have seen, its expression reflects the exact symptoms of the disturbance. One of the easiest methods of dealing with sickness is to give medicines or mechanical treatments which put a stop to the symptoms; however, this is more apt to further upset the vital force by suppressing the individual expression of the disordered vital energy. Anything that disturbs the normal expression of disturbed harmony simply adds to the disturbance that is already in existence, and is a confusion worse confounded, for it suppresses or distorts the manifestations of the diseased state. This may be done in many ways. It may be done by sprays; it may be done by ointments; it may be done by irritative or narcotic treatment. Whatever is done that interferes with the expression of the disturbance as is manifested by the symptomatology of the patient adds many fold to our troubles. The altered character or entire suppression of discharges; the suppression of eruptions; the palliation of pain by narcotics; the momentary invigoration by tonics; these are among our problems. The injections in gonorrhoea, for instance, may suppress the discharge, but the effects is to throw the whole vital energy out of balance more markedly than before, and we get all kinds of manifestations in distant and seemingly unrelated organs as a result. Suppression is the easiest and greatest of the errors that can be practiced by any graduate in medicine.
To what did Hahnemann attribute the harmonious functioning of the human organism? What is the unit of human life?
What do we mean by the trinity of the individual?
Cite some conditions that may cause disturbance of the vital force with consequent disturbed development of the whole economy.
What is the outward reflection of the inward turmoil?
Why do we look on disease as a dynamic expression rather than as a local matter?
Why do we speak of the dynamic force of remedies?
What is sickness? (*Answer : Disturbance of harmonious functions.)
Why are remedies potentized?
What is the effect of suppressive treatment