Hahnemann originally used larger, i. e., customary doses, even according to his method; he soon found, however, as every subsequent experimenter must find, that these produced considerable aggravation of the condition they were intended to heal, before an improvement took place, whence he drew the very simple conclusion — that smaller doses were more to the purpose. Gaining experience by repeated experiments, he diminished these doses so far that they hardly seemed to contain matter at all. Hereon was founded the accusation so contradictory to the former one of poisoning patients, that homoeopathic doses were no better than nothing; on the ground that a millionth, a trillionth, &c, of a grain of some drug was equal to nothing. Over this nothing, a flood of cheap stale wit was poured out, without, however, stifling the living spark of truth. Mathematics even were brought to bear upon the subject, in order to prove that a trillionth part of a grain was an impossibility, unless the intention were to expand it to the size of this planetary system.
Let us first inquire how Hahnemann diluted drugs, and we shall see that he created millionths, &c., without incommoding the ocean and infinite space, if indeed we may here speak of matter as such any longer. It is well known that he mixed one drop of some powerful vegetable extract with ninetynine drops of alcohol by vigorous shaking, one drop of this was again mixed with ninety-nine drops of alcohol, and so on. In this manner he triturated, intimately, one grain of a metal or a mineral with ninety-nine grains of sugar of milk, of which one grain was treated in like manner, and so on. The third trituration was dissolved and then treated as a fluid substance. He carried this process to the thirtieth degree, which is now falsely called the decillionth solution.*[We shall subsequently see that a decillionth particle of matter is an impossibility.]
Herein opinions differ, even among Homoeopaths; some preferring the higher, some the middle, others, again, the lower dilutions. We shall, hereafter, see under what conditions each deserves preference.
But reverting to the first question, whether the finest doses are still something, it becomes certain, by the aid of mathematics, so often abused for the annihilation of Homoeopathy, that a thing never can become a nothing; air, for instance, though continually diluted by the air-pump, can never leave an absolute vacancy. Though we may make the admission to our opponents, leaving aside the results of mathematics so frequently based on wrong suppositions, that even before the thirtieth dilution a body can no longer exist as such, having given up its form, the conclusion cannot be drawn, that also its ultimate component parts, and with these its force, have become extinct.
In order to illustrate the subject closely, it becomes necessary to inquire what number of fundamental forces, to which all others are related, as colors are to light, exist on this planet, and how they are connected with matter and with one another.
1. Magnetism. — This is the luminous substance imparted to this planet during its formation, i.e., its separation from the shining sun; which substance sought the centre, because all incipient formations begin with a centre.*[The breaking of light inwardly when passing from a lighter to a denser medium, is still a proof for this fundamental law of light.] Magnetism is. therefore, synonymous with gravity. Now, as ever, all matter tends toward the centre of the planet; in like manner to that of every detached portion of the same, as we are able to observe in the consolidation of fluids, where new matter is continually accumulated around a primary particle for a centre, thus forming either a sphere, a crystal, or, where there is an interruption of the process, an amorphous body.
Magnetism, therefore, is the cause of connection (cohesion) of bodies. In the magnetism of iron, where both poles draw the iron toward the centre or neutral point, we see the principle of cohesion illustrated. But that all bodies are actually magnetic is proved by the dia-magnetism (of Faraday) over the diverging of a pendulum in the neighborhood of great mountains.
Magnetism is accordingly perceived as gravity when it acts from the surface toward the centre. It becomes apparent as light, like the sun, when acting from the centre toward the surface, as it is seen in the northern light and during the rapid revolutions of a magnet opposite its opposite poles; it is also known as condensing, plastic and coherent power.
2. Warmth. — This represents the primary matter gravitating toward the sun, unlike the light gravitating toward the planet, designating as it were the return of matter to the sun as light designates the repulsion from the same. Solar light, as the ruling positive power, wherever it falls, liberates and develops warmth as its negative counter-pole. Warmth, herefore, being the counterpart of gravitation, magnetism, and cohesion, renders all bodies which it penetrates specifically lighter, so that they must occupy a greater space though their gravity is unchanged. Hence, it expands bodies, changes solids into fluids and fluids into vapor; lastly, it weakens the magnetism of iron while cold increases it.
Warmth, however, is the opposite force to magnetism; but magnetism being bi-polar, acting from two extremities toward the centre, warmth must in its turn of necessity possess bipolar properties.*[In like manner, a chemical element cannot unite with a binary compound without first becoming binary.] This state can only be entered into when warmth combines with light in the most varied relationship, † [Like the neutralization of light and warmth, forming colors.] forming electricity.
Magnetism attracts uninteruptedly, making the minute particle bi-polar, which in its turn attracts, thus forming a magnetic line. An electric body, though it also attracts an indifferent one, repels it in the same moment, imparting to it at the moment of contact its positive or negative electricity.
The action of magnetism is linear through the density of matter and bodies; electricity manifests itself alone on the surfaces of bodies. The former gains strength by rest, but loses it by interrupted rest, as e. g., when the iron is often torn from the poles of a magnet. Electricity on the contrary, is constantly increased by movement, friction, concussion, interruption of coherence.
Both forces neutralize and limit one another, being everywhere opposed. Magnetism by itself would congeal all matter; while electricity alone would decompose the same into its elements.*[As is the case with water, and consequently also the water of crystallization of bodies causing their deflorescence.] The union of both constitutes actual being, which is the connecting link between coming into, and going out of, existence; their relation to one another conditions the degree of cohesion and density of all bodies, which are, therefore, both magnetic and electric according to their ever-varying density.
Metals are almost exclusively magnetic; air is in the same measure electric. Water stands between both, being magnetic when in the form of ice (crystallized), and electric when reduced to vapor and while in the act of dissolving solid matter.
Both electricities, positive and negative, are present in all bodies of the planet, the one or the other of them prevailing, on which account the same bodies are either positively or negatively related to others, which are positive or negative in less degree. Bodies with highly prevailing electricity of one kind are called idio-electric All bodies admit of a classification in three grand groups: — decidedly positive, decidedly negative and indifferently electric In the latter, both electricities are entirely or nearly counterpoised, manifesting no polarity outwardly,
The sum of both electricities, exhibited in each body of them groups, is at the same time the inherent power, properly belonging to each of these bodies. The difference of the innumerable manifestations of forces and properties of bodies depends alone upon the intensity of electric charge and tension; and every manifestation of force is neither more nor less than the sum total of electricity, showing itself in a free state and modified according to the composition of the body it belonged to.
Electricity, and consequently every special force of a body, is either at rest (latent), or active, or free. Free electricity is only observable on the surfaces of bodies; but beyond these, when in its present state, it forms an atmosphere of more or less extent which is proved to exist by numerous phenomena, particularly by the attraction and repulsion of bodies distant from one another. The mere friction of a glass cylinder or a stick of sealing wax is sufficient to act upon a magnetic needle at a distance of several inches. The action of magnetism is toward the centre, serving to confine and bind the forces. All, therefore, acting from the centre to the surface must be electric.
Though consisting of exactly like component parts, two bodies may possess different properties. Thus starch, for example, by means of dilute sulphuric acid (also by other means) may be converted into gum, and subsequently into sugar, without entering into combination with the acid. These three substances, so different in taste and bearing, have, even in quantity, exactly the same component parts. This is explained by the assumption that the atoms occupy different positions to one another, their relation being a mechanical one; the manner, however, in which the difference of juxta-position of atoms is produced, is as yet undemonstrated. The power of determining their position can not lie in the atoms themselves, neither has sulphuric acid produced it. The varied juxtaposition of atoms, therefore, can only be sought after in a modified condition of electricity, i.e., in the attractive and repulsive proportions of these hypothetical atoms, or, what would be the same, in modified electric force with unmodified components.
In the above process nothing has been altered except the tension of electricity, and with this, its quality. The indifferent starch, pulverized by the sulphuric acid, was changed into chemically active sugar.*[We may, perhaps, explain the process in this manner, that the components, chaotically present in starch, such as Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen, unite with polaric tension through the action of Sulphuric acid one-half of the Carbon is united with Hydrogen, the other with the Oxygen. The Carburetted Hydrogen and Carbonic acid resulting thereby, are now related as base and acid and form the Sugar, the principal vegetable salt, of which all others are only modifications. Dorberesiner already considered sugar in this light.]
If we now proceed to ask, what atoms are, the answer will be: — Parts of a body incapable of further division. Bat if we imagine a particle of a body however minute, there is no reason why we should not imagine it by one-half smaller and this half again divided in two, and so on.
In the physical and actual division of a body, we must ultimately arrive at a limit, beyond which it ceases to be what it was. This limit, then, is the boundary between the total dissolution of a body, and the possibility given by its dissolution of assuming once more its former state or uniting with a new body, according to new laws of attraction and repulsion modified according to circumstances. When we, therefore, suppose a body reduced to real (indivisible) atoms, it no longer exists as a body, because cohesion and gravity, the conditions for the existence of a body, must have ceased, if the word atom shall not be nonsense.
But this is mathematically and physically certain, that every atom of a body, in the true sense, must continue to exist as the bearer of its force, i, e., of its special (specific) electricity, so long as it does not enter new combinations. In fact, this force or power, this special electricity, must become free and potent, or, as physical science would express it would emanate from a latent into a free condition, after the force of binding magnetism is broken by interrupted continuity.
This process of setting atoms free, and with these their peculiar strength, is intended and accomplished by means of trituration, solution, and progressive dilution of homoeopathic medicine. Accordingly, it is not only possible but in complete harmony with the laws of the fundamental forces of nature, that the force of a body in a high state of communication can and must be made more effectual and free in its action upon a sensitive organism, than in its denser and coherent state. It is self evident that mechanical and chemical actions, as they are observed in inorganic nature, where in fact quality and volume stand in direct proportion to their effect, must here be left unregarded.
Matter and Force. — Natural philosophers at this time agree that in reality there can be no force without matter acting as its vehicle, or better, pervading completely, and forming with it an inseparable whole.
Those, who regard matter as of the greater importance (Materialists), have thence drawn the conclusion, that matter creates force, and that consequently the sum total of force perishes, together with its sum total of matter composing a body; but that material particles, i. e., atoms, which do not cease to be bearers of particles of force, immediately enter into new combinations. According to their doctrine, each individual being ceases to exist with the dissolution of its body. There is but one kind of immortality, consisting in the eternal continuation of atoms in a circulation of accidental combinations into new beings.
This theory of atoms, about which long discussions have been carried on recently, is in itself totally false. Atom*[Atom is only a modern expression; that is, one by which a bridge may be built from the known to the unknown. An indivisible atom could only be a geometrical point, equal to nothing. Atoms having a form or shape are evidently impossible.]. is confounded with constituent part, and the expression of a body resolving itself wholly and as a whole, is confounded with decomposition of the same, according to chemical elective affinities. So long as the latter are not called into action, there is no reason why a given matter, in its highest state of so-called atomic expansion (dilution), should give up the laws of attraction according to which it was originated. Nor until one of its constituent parts is re-placed by another, more powerfully antagonistic (of nearer chemical affinity) and in sufficient quantity (chemical equivalent) will decomposition become possible; by no means otherwise. Thus kitchen salt, though atomically divided, will remain Muriate of soda so long as nothing is added annulling the attraction of its constituents; the utmost dilution will not do it
What may be said of a simple salt, equally applies to a combination of elementary substances united to a definite organic whole. The utmost solution of its coherence is in no degree the cause for a separation of its constituents; each atom is and continues to be what it was before, retaining its tendency again to condense with the rest to the former density of the body, provided other chemical actions do not interfere.
Indeed, the juice of Aconite or Belladonna, decomposing in the air, is chemically destroyed, its ultimate constituents, attracted by other elements, forming new combinations. When, on the contrary, preserved in alcohol and protected against chemical influences, it will continue to be purely Aconite or Belladonna in its subsequent dilutions. The atomization of matter, therefore, is to be regarded only as the highest degree of expansion, but not as chemical decomposition.
Now, the highest degree of expansion of matter is connected with the nullification of cohesion and gravity; such matter deprived of cohesion and gravity, capable of condensing in every degree, we call Ether (the matter occupying endless space). Atomization, therefore, may be more appropriately termed etherization, because atoms with cohesion and gravity cannot exist according to the nature of things. All kinds of matter can be converted into ether without losing their individual properties; and this ether is the proper vehicle of each natural force, needed by each in order to manifest itself.
This ether is no longer a substance of merely an ideal existence, but it possesses all the essential properties of matter. Astronomy teaches that it exercises resistance against the motion of heavenly bodies through space. In the form of light it can be deflected and reflected from its direct course; as warmth, it is as well bound as free; as electricity it may be perceived by the organs of taste and smell; it exercises its power in the shape of steam, etc. All natural forces, accordingly, are not without substance as was once believed, but they are ether in different degrees of tension; as light and warmth between the sun and planet; as magnetism between the centre and periphery of the planet. It is ether that penetrates the whole universe, controlling and giving life to matter; endowing each body with its special electric or magnetic value, thereby again designating its relation to other bodies. It flows spontaneously or through external action from bodies, disclosing their nature to us (as is the case in sounds, odors, &c.)
If ether, now, according to these proofs is matter, like this it is capable of condensation in every degree; and if it exists, as we have just seen, as luminous ether or “sun-matter,” on the one hand, radiating in a linear direction, on the other hand) as warmth and with spherical motion; then, as electricity, composed of the latter two, and active on the surfaces of bodies; then again, as galvanism (“Chemism”) penetrating the dimensions of fluids, and, lastly, as magnetism tending toward the centre of solid bodies; then must its condensation have occurred not only in numberless degrees, but also in groups of bodies, corresponding to the above-named fundamental forces and and their combined actions.
It will, therefore, become necessary to consider and classify phosphorus and brimstone as condensed negative electricity, glass as condensed positive electricity, while the metals rank either as condensed magnetism or galvanism.
When planetary matter and bodies are once formed,*[That they could not have been formed in fire is proved and accepted as sufficiently evident by every thinking philosopher of the age.] they will not change their condition without an external cause, but they will continue to exist according to their original principle, which conditions their combination. Even a body of the most complicated nature must, in accordance with the tendency or idea, the cause and life of its being just as it is and not otherwise, be considered as a unit, which, even if expanded or solved as a whole, never can be lost; it consequently remains what it was even in the highest atomic division, so long as its constituent parts do not enter into new combinations according to our laws of attraction.
If we acknowledge the above-named laws, for in calm deliberation on the origin of matter and the multiplicity of equal bodies, we can hardly arrive at another conclusion, we must also acknowledge the existence of a special force or “special ether position” as belonging to each body, being itself condensed ether. This force becomes free, instead of being destroyed in the division of a body into atoms, or to speak more distinctly, in its solution into ether.
Friction of glass results in the free electricity of glass; sulphur, treated in like manner, gives us the free electricity of sulphur, &c Bodies cannot send out radiations unless these are parts these bodies themselves. Glass contains positive, sulphur, negative electricity, not as a thing distinct and by itself, but rather identical with these substances, representing the two kinds of electricity in a condensed state. They become apparent by means of friction, that is by partial atomization of their surfaces.
That this may be the case, that the electric current may bear with it matter itself, that perhaps all bodies exposed to the atmosphere, may as ether become part of the atmosphere and condensed again subsequently, is corroborated by the remarkable discovery of Fusenieri, that common electric sparks contain parts of that metal of which the conductor of the machine is made. A spark of this kind sent from a golden ball through a silver plate leaves on each side, at its place of entrance and exit respectively, a circular layer of gold, which after sometime again evaporates. Lightning sometimes leaves a decided sulphurous odor and blackens metals; consequently it was etherized sulphur. Some lightnings, according to Arago, contain iron and leave traces of the same; to how great an extent, then, must these bodies, ordinarily so ponderous, have become refined.
The doctrine of atoms and that of ether, are, therefore, identical. So long as the so-called atoms continue to follow the laws of gravity, they continue to be dense and consequently divisible, and, hence, cannot be called real atoms; but when they do not obey gravitation, then they are imponderable ether in its different modifications and tension. The more ancient designation of electricity, magnetism, &c, as imponderables, is the most correct.
|The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 02 No. 08, 1860, pages 349-360
|Are Homoeopathic Doses Nothing Or Something?
|errors only; interlinks; formatting