The Principles of Homeopathic Philosophy

Taal
English
Type
Paperback
Uitgever
Winter Press
Author(s) Margaret Roy
3 Items Op voorraad
€ 28,28
This book is an excellent tool, key ideas are each presented as a set of self-sufficient lessons.
Each lesson is clear and lucid, with useful analogies, examples, learning activities, reading references and self-testing questions.
Meer informatie
SubtitleA self-directed learning text
ISBN9781874581123
AuteurMargaret Roy
TypePaperback
TaalEnglish
Publicatiedatum1999-10-31
Pagina's151
UitgeverWinter Press
Recensie

This book review is reprinted with the permission of the National Center for Homeopathy

Reviewed by Kim Baker

Roy's Principles of Homoeopathic Philosophy is an introductory homeopathic text presented as a 14-lesson workbook. The lessons proceed methodically, starting with an introduction to basic homeopathic concepts such as the vital force and the Law of Similars, then gradually build to lessons on casetaking, repertorization and case analysis. Each lesson has a similar format, with an initial list of headings, aims, and objectives, followed by clearly defined sections interspersed with "activities." The activities are an integral part of the text and are designed to help the reader assimilate the material covered in each lesson.

Hahnemann's Organon of Medicine, Kent's Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy, and Vithoulkas' The Science of Homeopathy are listed as companion texts, and readings from these three works are part of each lesson.

Roy uses analogy extensively to make the often difficult concepts of homeopathy understandable to the reader; unfamiliar homeopathic concepts are likened to more familiar phenomena. For example, to explain the relationship between symptoms and the vital force Roy states, "Just as ripples are produced when we throw a stone into a pool, symptoms are produced when we become ill; the ripples spread the energy of the disturbance within the pool in exactly the same way that the symptoms dissipate the disturbance of the vital force."

Variations on the pond analogy appear several times throughout the text. In a discussion of homeopathic provings, Roy says, "To increase the accuracy of the proving, it is crucial to give the medicine to healthy persons who are free of disturbances (symptoms) the ripple pattern is best seen in the still undisturbed pond!"

Another useful analogy is the comparison of a healthy vital force to a spinning top. If a spinning top is subjected to a disturbance in its motion, it will quickly correct itself, provided the disturbance is not too great. Similarly, a healthy vital force is able to throw off most morbific influences that come its way this analogy fits nicely with a term that Hahnemann uses for the vital force, the "dynamis".

Occasionally Roy's use of analogy is less effective. In Lesson One we find the statement, "The role of the homoeopathic remedy is similar to that of enzymes and hormones in controlling the homeostatic balance within the organism...". While this explanation may be welcomed by a neophyte looking for familiar concepts to grab hold of, it seems that it may obscure the clearer and more accurate descriptions that appear later in the book.

On the whole, Roy's Principles stays closely in line with classical homeopathic philosophy. The concept of the vital force, and disease as a disturbance of the vital force, is explained clearly in Lesson Two.

A method of establishing a hierarchy of symptoms, of determining the relative importance of a symptom, is given in Lesson Four. The symptom hierarchy, from most notable to least notable, reads as follows:
1. Strange, Rare and Peculiar
2. Mental and Emotional
3. General
4. Particular
5. Common
This classification closely follows that which Kent gives in the introduction to his Repertory. Roy also stresses the importance of filling in the details of each symptom, in terms of its location, sensation, modalities, intensity and time of appearance.

The lesson on case-taking is especially well done; key points from the Organon, Kent's Lectures, and Vithoulkas' Science of Homeopathy are organized into a very clear set of instructions. Additionally, several useful methods for recording the symptoms of the patient are outlined.

The process of repertorization is presented as a seven-step formula:
1. Select prescribing symptoms from your collected data.
2. Describe the prescribing symptoms in the language of the repertory
3. Organize the prescribing symptoms into a hierarchy of symptoms.
4. Using first the mental and emotional symptoms, collect all those remedies that appear under the most important rubrics.
5. Select the symptoms that also relate to the mental and emotional symptoms.
6. Use the most individual particular symptoms to further differentiate between remedies.
7 Refer to the Materia Medica.

Whether or not one fully agrees with the approach outlined above, it does constitute a good summary of the instructions in Kent's essay, "The Use of the Repertory". There are, however, several items with which one might take issue when reading this book with a critical eye. Early on, Roy states, "There are five basic Laws of classical Homoeopathy": the law of similars, the single remedy the single dose, the minimum dose, the law of cure.

Of these five, it seems likely that the law of similars, the single remedy and the minimum dose would be nearly universally accepted as "laws" by classical homeopaths. Andre Same, in Similli mum (Winter 1993), has written an extensive critique of the inclusion of "Hering's Law" (the law of cure) as an actual homeopathic law. Saine argues that "law" implies non-deviation from a truth and that most experienced prescribers see frequent deviations from the letter of "Hering's Law," that is, "from within out, from above downward, in reverse order of their appearance."

On the issue of the safety of homeopathic remedies Roy states, "...this is the reason why homoeopathic medicines are absolutely safe; no homoeopathic medicine acts unless there is a resonance with the vital force of the patient." Traditionally homeopaths have spoken more cautiously on this subject. For example, in Lectures on Homoeopathic Materia Medica, Kent says, "If our medicines were not powerful enough to kill folks, they would not be powerful enough to cure sick folks. It is well for you to realize that you are dealing with razors when dealing with high potencies."

The lesson on selecting a potency starts with the statement, "Despite homoeopathy's long history the subject of potency selection is still a vague and arbitrary area which is seldom clearly understood." Unfortunately the remainder of the lesson does little to remedy the situation. Roy offers the following "inherited yardstick": - Below 30th potency was for physical disturbance - 200th potency was for emotional disturbance - 1M and higher potencies were for disturbance on the mental plane.

Vithoulkas explicitly disagrees with the above formula and states in The Science of Homeopathy, "The primary guiding principle here is the degree of certainty that the homeopath has about the remedy" Another guiding principle that many homeopaths use is the "movement" in a case: the more static the case, the lower the potency; the more dynamic, the higher the potency.

There are many diagrams of waveforms in the potency lesson. I had difficulty in understanding them and found several other illustrations in Roy's book confusing.

The book could have benefitted from a thorough proofing by someone very familiar with homeopathy. While the book, in general, has few spelling or grammatical errors, I did notice misspellings of the names Farrington, Reves, and Sherr; a substitution of Chamomilla for Hamamelis in one of the repertory exercises, and an incorrect attribution for the authors of the MacRepertory computer program.

Overall, Roy's Principles covers the basics of homeopathy in a clear and thorough manner. The strong points of the book are its modern layout, the inclusion of activities which help the reader gauge his or her progress in assimilating the material, and its faithfulness to classical homeopathic literature. The reader new to homeopathy is likely to benefit most from Roy's book. The author's enthusiasm for the subject shines through and a great deal of care has been taken to help the reader understand the more difficult concepts. Students who have already come to terms with the writings in the Organon and Kent's Lectures in Homoeopathic Philosophy may find the book covering a lot of ground that is familiar to them but will find many of the exercises helpful, particularly those on the use of the repertory and case analysis.

Kim Baker is in his third year at the Pacific Academy of Homeopathy, in San Francisco.

HOMEOPATHY TODAY OCTOBER 1995

 

This book review is reprinted from the British Homoeopathic Journal Volume 84, Number 1, January 1995, with permission from Peter Fisher, Editor.

Any text book of homoeopathy that does not date from the last century is to be welcomed. This book is intended for distance learning and recommended to be read in conjunction with the Organon, Kent's Lectures on Homoeopathic Philosophy and Vithoulkas' The Science of Homoeopathy. There are 14 lessons in all, covering homoeopathic philosophy in the strict sense as well as chapters on case-taking, selection of the homoeopathic medicine and the use of the repertory. The latter are to be commended and would be useful to any student. There are appendices to help the student study.

The philosophy is unashamedly vitalistic and the whole text deals with the effects of disease and homoeopathic medicines upon the vital force. Much is made of Vithoulkas' work but some of the content appears to be the philosophy of the author alone; not that that is a criticism.

There is much here for both the student and the more experienced practitioner to think about.

The process of potentization and the action of homoeopathic medicines are dealt with in some detail accompanied by illustrations of diagrams of wave patterns. These lessons are well written and easy to follow. My problem with them is that hypothesis tends to be stated as fact.

Much of the theory appears to derive from Vithoulkas who would probably be the first to admit that his laudable ideas are as yet unproven.

It is nowhere suggested that homoeopathy can have any limits. A high blood sugar is given as a symptom
diagnostic of diabetes; if this is found in tests it will limit the disease labels the doctor can apply to the patient's illness. In the homoeopathic hierarchy of symptoms these common symptoms go to the bottom of the list because they have no individuality.
This is quite true but the possible need for insulin is not raised.

The words doctor and allopath are used synonymously; it is nowhere suggested that a doctor might practise homoeopathy. Diagnosis is dismissed as of no interest. The statement that 'there is only one disease' is emphasized and re-emphasized. The causative action of bacteria is questioned because many diseases disappeared with the introduction of hygiene in the 19th century, and without vaccines or drugs. The author admits to leaning her arguments heavily one way and the student is called upon to criticize and to keep an open mind. But it is difficult to escape the idea that this critical attitude should be aimed principally at conventional medicine. This book gives an interesting insight into how at least some NMQPs are trained. Much of it is excellent and would provide a sound beginning for the student on the road to homoeopathic competence. However I am not convinced that it provides an adequate guide to safe practice and for this reason I cannot recommend it.

BERNARD LEARY

British Homoeopathic Journal
Volume 84, Number 1, January 1995

Recensie

This book review is reprinted with the permission of the National Center for Homeopathy

Reviewed by Kim Baker

Roy's Principles of Homoeopathic Philosophy is an introductory homeopathic text presented as a 14-lesson workbook. The lessons proceed methodically, starting with an introduction to basic homeopathic concepts such as the vital force and the Law of Similars, then gradually build to lessons on casetaking, repertorization and case analysis. Each lesson has a similar format, with an initial list of headings, aims, and objectives, followed by clearly defined sections interspersed with "activities." The activities are an integral part of the text and are designed to help the reader assimilate the material covered in each lesson.

Hahnemann's Organon of Medicine, Kent's Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy, and Vithoulkas' The Science of Homeopathy are listed as companion texts, and readings from these three works are part of each lesson.

Roy uses analogy extensively to make the often difficult concepts of homeopathy understandable to the reader; unfamiliar homeopathic concepts are likened to more familiar phenomena. For example, to explain the relationship between symptoms and the vital force Roy states, "Just as ripples are produced when we throw a stone into a pool, symptoms are produced when we become ill; the ripples spread the energy of the disturbance within the pool in exactly the same way that the symptoms dissipate the disturbance of the vital force."

Variations on the pond analogy appear several times throughout the text. In a discussion of homeopathic provings, Roy says, "To increase the accuracy of the proving, it is crucial to give the medicine to healthy persons who are free of disturbances (symptoms) the ripple pattern is best seen in the still undisturbed pond!"

Another useful analogy is the comparison of a healthy vital force to a spinning top. If a spinning top is subjected to a disturbance in its motion, it will quickly correct itself, provided the disturbance is not too great. Similarly, a healthy vital force is able to throw off most morbific influences that come its way this analogy fits nicely with a term that Hahnemann uses for the vital force, the "dynamis".

Occasionally Roy's use of analogy is less effective. In Lesson One we find the statement, "The role of the homoeopathic remedy is similar to that of enzymes and hormones in controlling the homeostatic balance within the organism...". While this explanation may be welcomed by a neophyte looking for familiar concepts to grab hold of, it seems that it may obscure the clearer and more accurate descriptions that appear later in the book.

On the whole, Roy's Principles stays closely in line with classical homeopathic philosophy. The concept of the vital force, and disease as a disturbance of the vital force, is explained clearly in Lesson Two.

A method of establishing a hierarchy of symptoms, of determining the relative importance of a symptom, is given in Lesson Four. The symptom hierarchy, from most notable to least notable, reads as follows:
1. Strange, Rare and Peculiar
2. Mental and Emotional
3. General
4. Particular
5. Common
This classification closely follows that which Kent gives in the introduction to his Repertory. Roy also stresses the importance of filling in the details of each symptom, in terms of its location, sensation, modalities, intensity and time of appearance.

The lesson on case-taking is especially well done; key points from the Organon, Kent's Lectures, and Vithoulkas' Science of Homeopathy are organized into a very clear set of instructions. Additionally, several useful methods for recording the symptoms of the patient are outlined.

The process of repertorization is presented as a seven-step formula:
1. Select prescribing symptoms from your collected data.
2. Describe the prescribing symptoms in the language of the repertory
3. Organize the prescribing symptoms into a hierarchy of symptoms.
4. Using first the mental and emotional symptoms, collect all those remedies that appear under the most important rubrics.
5. Select the symptoms that also relate to the mental and emotional symptoms.
6. Use the most individual particular symptoms to further differentiate between remedies.
7 Refer to the Materia Medica.

Whether or not one fully agrees with the approach outlined above, it does constitute a good summary of the instructions in Kent's essay, "The Use of the Repertory". There are, however, several items with which one might take issue when reading this book with a critical eye. Early on, Roy states, "There are five basic Laws of classical Homoeopathy": the law of similars, the single remedy the single dose, the minimum dose, the law of cure.

Of these five, it seems likely that the law of similars, the single remedy and the minimum dose would be nearly universally accepted as "laws" by classical homeopaths. Andre Same, in Similli mum (Winter 1993), has written an extensive critique of the inclusion of "Hering's Law" (the law of cure) as an actual homeopathic law. Saine argues that "law" implies non-deviation from a truth and that most experienced prescribers see frequent deviations from the letter of "Hering's Law," that is, "from within out, from above downward, in reverse order of their appearance."

On the issue of the safety of homeopathic remedies Roy states, "...this is the reason why homoeopathic medicines are absolutely safe; no homoeopathic medicine acts unless there is a resonance with the vital force of the patient." Traditionally homeopaths have spoken more cautiously on this subject. For example, in Lectures on Homoeopathic Materia Medica, Kent says, "If our medicines were not powerful enough to kill folks, they would not be powerful enough to cure sick folks. It is well for you to realize that you are dealing with razors when dealing with high potencies."

The lesson on selecting a potency starts with the statement, "Despite homoeopathy's long history the subject of potency selection is still a vague and arbitrary area which is seldom clearly understood." Unfortunately the remainder of the lesson does little to remedy the situation. Roy offers the following "inherited yardstick": - Below 30th potency was for physical disturbance - 200th potency was for emotional disturbance - 1M and higher potencies were for disturbance on the mental plane.

Vithoulkas explicitly disagrees with the above formula and states in The Science of Homeopathy, "The primary guiding principle here is the degree of certainty that the homeopath has about the remedy" Another guiding principle that many homeopaths use is the "movement" in a case: the more static the case, the lower the potency; the more dynamic, the higher the potency.

There are many diagrams of waveforms in the potency lesson. I had difficulty in understanding them and found several other illustrations in Roy's book confusing.

The book could have benefitted from a thorough proofing by someone very familiar with homeopathy. While the book, in general, has few spelling or grammatical errors, I did notice misspellings of the names Farrington, Reves, and Sherr; a substitution of Chamomilla for Hamamelis in one of the repertory exercises, and an incorrect attribution for the authors of the MacRepertory computer program.

Overall, Roy's Principles covers the basics of homeopathy in a clear and thorough manner. The strong points of the book are its modern layout, the inclusion of activities which help the reader gauge his or her progress in assimilating the material, and its faithfulness to classical homeopathic literature. The reader new to homeopathy is likely to benefit most from Roy's book. The author's enthusiasm for the subject shines through and a great deal of care has been taken to help the reader understand the more difficult concepts. Students who have already come to terms with the writings in the Organon and Kent's Lectures in Homoeopathic Philosophy may find the book covering a lot of ground that is familiar to them but will find many of the exercises helpful, particularly those on the use of the repertory and case analysis.

Kim Baker is in his third year at the Pacific Academy of Homeopathy, in San Francisco.

HOMEOPATHY TODAY OCTOBER 1995

 

This book review is reprinted from the British Homoeopathic Journal Volume 84, Number 1, January 1995, with permission from Peter Fisher, Editor.

Any text book of homoeopathy that does not date from the last century is to be welcomed. This book is intended for distance learning and recommended to be read in conjunction with the Organon, Kent's Lectures on Homoeopathic Philosophy and Vithoulkas' The Science of Homoeopathy. There are 14 lessons in all, covering homoeopathic philosophy in the strict sense as well as chapters on case-taking, selection of the homoeopathic medicine and the use of the repertory. The latter are to be commended and would be useful to any student. There are appendices to help the student study.

The philosophy is unashamedly vitalistic and the whole text deals with the effects of disease and homoeopathic medicines upon the vital force. Much is made of Vithoulkas' work but some of the content appears to be the philosophy of the author alone; not that that is a criticism.

There is much here for both the student and the more experienced practitioner to think about.

The process of potentization and the action of homoeopathic medicines are dealt with in some detail accompanied by illustrations of diagrams of wave patterns. These lessons are well written and easy to follow. My problem with them is that hypothesis tends to be stated as fact.

Much of the theory appears to derive from Vithoulkas who would probably be the first to admit that his laudable ideas are as yet unproven.

It is nowhere suggested that homoeopathy can have any limits. A high blood sugar is given as a symptom
diagnostic of diabetes; if this is found in tests it will limit the disease labels the doctor can apply to the patient's illness. In the homoeopathic hierarchy of symptoms these common symptoms go to the bottom of the list because they have no individuality.
This is quite true but the possible need for insulin is not raised.

The words doctor and allopath are used synonymously; it is nowhere suggested that a doctor might practise homoeopathy. Diagnosis is dismissed as of no interest. The statement that 'there is only one disease' is emphasized and re-emphasized. The causative action of bacteria is questioned because many diseases disappeared with the introduction of hygiene in the 19th century, and without vaccines or drugs. The author admits to leaning her arguments heavily one way and the student is called upon to criticize and to keep an open mind. But it is difficult to escape the idea that this critical attitude should be aimed principally at conventional medicine. This book gives an interesting insight into how at least some NMQPs are trained. Much of it is excellent and would provide a sound beginning for the student on the road to homoeopathic competence. However I am not convinced that it provides an adequate guide to safe practice and for this reason I cannot recommend it.

BERNARD LEARY

British Homoeopathic Journal
Volume 84, Number 1, January 1995