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DefineHomeopathy

I believe this is a major question that must be answered.
If HWC as a community can come up with a concise definition and use it on our blogs, posts, tweets, discussions, websites then we will have a consensus.

The more people read the same definition over and over and over the more it will stick in their minds and provide some insight and understanding. I know it is really not easy to explain. Let's give it a try. Especially at a time when people are using the buzz word "HOMEOPATHY" to sell drugs, mattresses and who knows what else?

Here is an article that says Coka-cola is putting "Homeopathic" Cocaine in sodas for people to 'get high'. Yet in the same breath they claim Homeopathics are diluted so much as to have no effect. Very humorous.

Here is something in the news: NATURAL HOLISTIC HEALTH BLOG

TOPIX


REVISITING THIS QUESTION | Vinton McCabe has inspired us to try this one again. [July 21, 2010]

Creating Our Universal Definition of Homeopath
This is a group effort. Can we agree to agree? Is that possible?
Once we word smith this, then everyone can post it in blogs, website, books, pamphlets, flyers and where ever the eye can see.
Can we agree upon our mission as members of HWC?
HWC Mission: To make "Homeopathy A Household Word." Promoting and advocating homeopathy through education and awareness using technology, individuals writing, presentations and collaboration with other organizations.

Unifying the Spirit of Homeopathy and Accepting that everyone is on the journey to truth and understanding. Creating the BOND THAT TIES US TOGETHER.
NCH | The National Center for Homeopathy defines it this way: Homeopathy is a system of medicine that is based on the Law of Similars. The truth of this law has been verified experimentally and clinically for the last 200 years.

I Love India | Homeopathy is made up of two Greek words, 'Homeo' meaning similar and 'Pathos' meaning suffering. Therefore, it simply treats with remedies in minute doses, which produce symptoms similar to the disease, when taken by healthy people. Moreover, it is based on the natural law of healing- "Similia Similibus Curantur", which means "likes cure likes". The method was given a scientific thought by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), in the early 19th century. 

CCRHINDIA | Central Council for Research in Homeopathy | (Gr. Homoiopatheia, from homoiopathes having like feelings or affections; hamoios, like, similar and pathos, feelings, sufferings). The theory or system of curing diseases with very minute doses of medicine which in a healthy person and in large doses would produce a condition like that of the disease treated.

Webster's Dictionary 

As per the primary principle of Homoeopathy, "Similia Similibus Curentur" or the "Law of Similars" which is the "natural law of healing", diseases are treated by medicines, which are capable of producing in healthy persons, symptoms similar to those of the disease, which it can treat in a sick person.The term "homoeopathy" was coined by Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann and first appeared in print in 1807.



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In Hahnemann's own (translated) words, to practise homoeopathy is to "choose, in every case of disease, a medicine which can itself produce an affection similar (ηομοιον πάθος) to that sought to be cured".

There are a hundred other ways to say the same thing. One dictionary (Macquarie) says, "a method of treating disease by drugs, given in minute doses, which produce in a healthy person symptoms similar to those of the disease (opposed to _allopathy_)" (Organon, Jain, p78). This definition has added something to Hahnemann's: minute doses. Yet a dose is only as small as a piece of string is long, and minute doses are not a necessary part of practising homoeopathy, only of doing so, at least with stronger medicines, safely. Another dictionary (Webster's) says, "The art of curing, founded on resemblances; the theory and its practice that disease is cured (tuto, cito, et jucunde) by remedies which produce on a healthy person effects similar to the symptoms of the complaint under which the patient suffers, the remedies being usually administered in minute doses". Different words, same meaning.

The above refers, in effect, to the successful selection of a remedy according to its symptomatic similarity to the patient, as well as to the attempt to so select it: to homoeopathic prescription as well as to homoeopathic attempt.

Dosage and potency are excluded from any correct definition, and (even if it is not already clear by implication in its name and in Hahnemann's own definitions) Hahnemann makes that clear explicitly. Although Hahnemann of course exhorts homoeopathic practitioners to use a suitable potency (Aph. 246) in a suitable dose (Aphs. 275–278) in order for it not to "prove injurious" in the course of curing the patient, he nevertheless makes clear that failure to do so affects neither the homoeopathicity of the method nor the homoeoopathicity of the medicine

"... a medicine, even though it may be homoeopathically suited to the case of disease, does harm in every dose that is too large, and in strong doses it does more harm the greater its homoeopathicity and the higher the potency selected... Too large doses of an accurately chosen homoeopathic medicine, and especially when frequently repeated, bring about much trouble as a rule" (Aph. 276).

In other words, according to Hahnemann's definition of "homoeopathic", if you correctly select the medicine on the basis of its pathogenetic similarity to the patient's illness but you get the potency and dosage wrong, you have still used the homoeopathic method, and you have still administered (to unfortunate effect) an undeniably homoeopathic remedy.

Incidentally, that alone rules out, of course, using the unsuccessful outcome of treatment to exclude from being homoeopathic. And the fact that other methods (such as five-element acupuncture) exist that are capable of curing a patient rules out using a successful outcome to include it. Whether a practice is homoeopathic, and whether the resultant prescription was homoeopathic to the patient, are not in any way dependent upon the outcome of that prescription. (If that is not perfectly clear, please read again, above, what Hahnemann wrote about dosage, and think about whether needle stimulation is a prescription of medicine.)

Those definitions that give the one essential relationship -- the homoeopathic relationship between the symptoms of patient and of medicine -- and omit all else are sufficient. Those that attempt to bring in anything else unnecessarily circumscribe what is homoeopathic.

I've seen the relationship well-expressed in many different ways. It may be useful to arrive at a definition in few words that can become familiar through repetition. But, more than useful, it's vital to realise that any definition that incorporates anything that is not a necessary part of all homoeopathic practice (such as references to dosage, potency, miasms, mechanisms, or clean teeth) will erroneously exclude examples of true homoeopathic practice, and that any definition that omits the one matter esssential to homoeopathic practice (the basis in symptom similarity of the prescription) will erroneously include practices (and prescriptions) that are most definitely not homoeopathic.
Thank you, John, for this contribution. I guess we will hear the same concepts written in many ways and that is all good. Because it may take as many ways in saying it for a new-comer to truly understand what is being expressed. And, in every repetition, a more comprehensive understanding will be produced. Even if I hear it enough times, then perhaps, it will be put to memory.

If I understand correctly
In other words, according to Hahnemann's definition of "homoeopathic", if you correctly select the medicine on the basis of its pathogenetic similarity to the patient's illness but you get the potency and dosage wrong, you have still used the homoeopathic method, and you have still administered (to unfortunate effect) an undeniably homoeopathic remedy.

With the correctly selected remedy, but incorrect potency & dosage, it IS STILL Homeopathic. However, the curative effect will be an aggravation or non-existent?

All factors, remedy, potency, frequency and quantity must be appropriate to match the energy of the individual. This is a tall order!

When such is the case, is it true that cure will occur when the remedy is stopped after too large a quantity or frequency?
All factors, remedy, potency, frequency and quantity must be appropriate to match the energy of the individual. This is a tall order!

my addition to this comment;
1-The well indicated remedy must match the imbalance (spiritual/physical/mental/emotional)
2-the potency must be in the correct vibrational cord,To find this a practicioner starts at the lowest potency and works their way up slowly via succussions. Only the correct potency will work.
3-dispensing mode must be paid attention to,Oral,topical,nasal-through long distance transmission.....etc
4A-wet dose VS dry dose-to repeat or not repeat? Timing of a repetion?
4B-the size of each dose (#10 poppysize Organon)
5-second prescription(follow up) monotoring
6-removal of obstructions that may cause an antidote
7-removal of causefactors
Yes its a Tall order for any practicioner.................................
Hi, Debby, Gina, and Michael. Debby, yes, with inadequately suitable potency or dosage (or both), it is still homoeopathic; that relationship is independent of these and all other matters of good practice, which can nevertheless be requisite for any kind of result, as I'll discuss below.

Inadequate form in general

Possibly the effect of a correctly selected homoeopathic remedy given in inadequate form need not be restricted to either none or an aggravation; it may simply fail to last as long as it might in another form. Results may be more or less positive, depending not only on degree of homoeopathicity but also on degree of suitability of potency and dose, as well as degree of interference.

Forgivingness and inadequacy of potency

It's certain that on occasion one potency will fail where another will succeed. And Gina is correct in saying "Only the correct potency will work" -- but this is also a truism and one that is potentially deceptive.

If the otherwise correctly prescribed homoeopathic substance fails because of its potency, then only another potency will succeed, yes. But it's well-established that any of a great range of potencies usually "works". There is a continuum of potencies and forms just as there is an almost-continuum of substances (such that Hahnemann himself used Merc. vivus and Merc. sol. almost interchangeably and used Rhus tox. and Rhus rad. almost interchangeably though he knew that their effects must differ somewhat). It would be extraordinary indeed if most practitioners' successes, such as they are, were predicated upon correctly guessing the exact potency needed; and I've seen little to suggest that potency has often been the cause of prescription failure.

Nevertheless, it's probable that the best-chosen potencies will have the deepest and longest-lasting outcomes, just as the best-chosen dosages will have the gentlest outcomes without losing all effect and the best-chosen substance will have the greatest completeness (of the gamut of symptoms and of the curative process) in curative response.

But homoeopathy is very forgiving. It allows us to zigzag our way toward a cure if a sufficiently homoeopathic remedy is unknown to the materia medica or invisible to the practitioner (which it will often be, to practitioners who spend too little time on case-taking and analysis). And many -- probably most -- homoeopathic remedies are capable of stimulating the curative response without a dreadful aggravation, in a great range of potencies and even in crude form (though they may still need a great deal of dilution in order to minimise aggravation). So the tall order is for the best result, but not for a cure.

Repetition

Regarding repetition, you'll be aware of Hahnemann's directions (§§ 246–248 and 280) that no remedy bear repetition (at least in less than 40 to 100 days) without some change in potency. He was adamant about this.

Quantity

Regarding too large a quantity, Hahnemann did give directions in § 248 as to how to respond to the occurrence of symptoms due to too large a dose toward the end of a cure, when the patient's requirements decrease. In that instance, yes, he stated that the symptoms will soon pass off, leaving undisturbed cure in their wake.

Hahnemann refers, in footnote 136 to § 249, in §§ 275–276, and in § 282 (and, in relation to acute illness, in §§ 160–161), to the consequences of too large a dose in the earlier stages of treatment (e.g. "Too large doses of an accurately chosen homoeopathic medicine, and especially when frequently repeated, bring about much trouble as a rule. They put the patient not seldom in danger of life or make his disease almost incurable") -- but I don't recall, and am presently unable to find, specific directions by him as to how to deal with that situation once it arises. (Footnote 136 deals with incorrectly chosen medicines.) What I read between the lines is that symptoms arising from that cause are best left to settle. The examples he gives in footnote 162 to § 276 -- for which his most useful advice is that "A homoeopathic antidote for such a misfortune produced by abuse of large doses of homoeopathic remedies is hardly conceivable" -- are of the effects of large crude doses.

Two things in particular are worth noting from § 282. The first is that even in changing potency the correctly selected homoeopathic remedy may cause so-called homoeopathic aggravations -- but only if the dose is too large.

The second is that Hahnemann excepts from his general principle that it is scarcely possible to choose a dose too small (though I must say that I did once do it), in footnote 163, the cases of primary psora, syphilis, and figwarts -- i.e. in those cases in which the initial skin symptoms remain -- which he says "not only tolerate, but indieed require, from the very beginning large doses of their specific remedies of ever higher and higher dynamization daily (possibly also several times daily)... [without fear that] the excessive dose while it extinguishes the disease, initiates and by continued usage possibly produces a chronic medicinal disease".

Imperfect homoeopathicity

The so-called homoeopathic aggravation differs radically from the symptoms brought out by a remedy whose selection is imperfectly homoeopathic, and I can't recommend too strongly a close and thoughtful reading of §§ 249–250 in this respect, as it answers most of the questions that seem to arise due to repetition of unchanged potency.

Failure despite correct remedy in adequate potency and dosage

And, in relation to the failure of a medicine that has been homoeopathically selected to act, it's worth remembering Hahnemann's advice in § 251 concerning some remedies (which elsewhere he suggests are the vegetable remedies) with alternating primary actions: that a second dose will in most cases effect the desired response. This may, of course, depend upon there being no maintaining cause, which Hahnemann judges as being certainly present if the most perfectly selected remedy fails to act in increasing potency.

Three distractions

Apart from homoeopathicity, all of these things are matters merely of practice, though -- of how well one practises homoeopathy -- and not of whether one is practising it. In the past ten or fifteen years, homoeopaths have found themselves increasingly seduced by matters of speculation (such as on the mechanisms by which homoeopathy works: energy and so on), by the possibilities of what [easier] alternatives there may be to using symptoms in an effort to find a substance that can cure the patient, and by matters of practice. All three kinds of distraction are fine in their place, but when they cause such confusion that the so-called homoeopathic practitioner him- or herself becomes confused as to what is and what is not essential to homoeopathic practice, then they are distractions that are best indulged in some other place, in some other time, than in discussion of what homoeopathy is.

The first of these distractions (speculation over mechanism) has little relevance to practice; the second (alternative methods) has no relevance to homoeopathy; and the third (practice) has no relevance to definition.

Mechanism and alternatives

Come the day on which every former homoeopathic practitioner selects a remedy by any means other than taking symptoms and comparing them or dispenses it by any means other than medicine -- whether that new selection basis or treatment method occur via a black box or anything else -- on that day will they all be practising something else. It may be better than homoeopathy; but it clearly will not be homoeopathy. In that regard, speculation over mechanism is largely irrelevant to homoeopathy if its intent is to lead to a way to prescribe medicines that is not based on symptoms.

Seeking to understand mechanisms for the sake of understanding them is a different matter. Understanding of itself seems never of itself to be a harmful thing, and could lead to amazing new methods. They will not be homoeopathy unless they rely on symptoms, but they could be more effective and more efficiently practised than homoeopathy can.

Distinguishing how best to practice from what the practice is

How best to practise homoeopathy is a question worth exploring deeply; but it is one that must be distinguished from the more fundamental question of what homoeopathy is. Too often the two are discussed as though they are the same question, leading to the endless circles of argument that result from talking at cross-purposes. For that reason, it seems to me to be vital, in any discussion of what homoeopathy is and how to express that, to leave aside how it's best practised and how it works, for the topic of another discussion.

In a nutshell, regardless of how it's best done, homoeopathy is prescription on the basis of the law of similars and only that.
Just took a look at the link you posted Debby;
NATURAL HOLISTIC BLOG
the 3 homeopathic remedies that pop up on the opening page are 'combination remedies'-the first one "fear" contains 4 remedies!
These are the type of products that put homeopathy to shame.
That's EXACTLY why I put the link! We need to act as one unit. HWC members must be consistent in their definition and explanation.

I'm afraid there is a negative push from ERNST here in America now.
I refer to this SCATHING explanation of the effectiveness of Homeopathy at the
NCCAM Website National Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine. We must not only match this atrocity, but change the definition and explanation
I am encouraged that we have a 'law of similars' not a 'law of exacts' I would interpret this to mean a similar in terms of primarily the remedy but secondarily potency but of course the 'nearer the mark' then would expect a greater direction and duration in the pathway t'owards a cure' as we encourage the body/mind complex system to take this journey. We must always emphasise that we are just stimulating by imparting 'energy' into helping the complex system of the body/mind along its own journey towards a better balance or equilibrium in the face of the competing internal and external 'forces/ factors' that would take in the opposite way. That is my understanding!
Yes. If we draw Venn Diagrams regarding Remedies in a Family, Remedies with close relationships and organ affinities, we will often see a response, but one that does not hold or it may partially cover the disordered symptoms. Which will lead us to the next similar remedy to evaluate.

However, what challenges me the most is when you think [or doubt] your remedy selection as 'the one' and it is not working. How long do you 'go up the potency scale' as Gina suggests, especially in an acute or emergency situation? I've always believed the remedy works somewhat no matter the potency if the selection is on target.
This is an excellent conversation. Thank you, Debby, for posting it and for giving me a bit of credit for it.

When I recently joined this group I did so with mixed emotions. Although (or, perhaps, because) I have studied homeopathy for about thirty years now, taught it for fifteen, developed educational materials for it and then began writing books on the subject, I have had contact with much of the homeopathic community in the USA and have, over recent years, been part of two other international groups that were housed on the internet.

On joining this group, I brought with me both the negative baggage of having so often before experienced the collapse of well-meaning groups into chaos as no means could be found to unify the homeopaths involved. Classical and modern, traditional and experimental the differing factions of the homeopathic community have historically seen more value in debating who is the direct heir to Hahnemann than in unifying around what principles we can and presenting a unified face to the world.

This failure on our part, in my opinion, cost us dearly. Around the world right now, politicians are writing laws that challenge our freedom when it comes to our right to practice homeopathy or to be treated by a homeopath. Funding for homeopathy is being cut. Countries which were once the cornerstone of the homeopathic movement in this world are now dropping the homeopathic method from what is considered an acceptable form of medicine, or worse, are giving the fate of homeopathy over to the allopaths and allowing them to pick and choose what aspects of homeopathy that they--the allopaths--want to incorporate into their own methods and what parts they want to eliminate altogether. Indeed, in the USA right now, the FDA is once again on the march, looking to make all homeopathic remedies prescription medicines, which hands the keys to the homeopathic pharmacy over to the allopaths.

I said at the beginning that I came with mixed feelings and began with the negative. Now let me tell you about the positive. We are at a very odd point in human history. Two years ago, our global economy was shaken to its roots and we have yet to see anything like a restoration of what once was. Indeed, many experts think that we shall never see that lifestyle again, for better or for worse. This moment in time gives us a wonderful opportunity. As I am old enough to remember the '70s, a time of recession, long lines for gasoline, shortages of everything, all there in the USA, I also remember that as a time when homeopathy went into a full flowering in the USA. As people worry over cost, as they find that they are abandoned by their health insurers, they turn, not in the hundreds or thousands, but in the millions to alternative methods, especially methods of self-treatment or methods by which a wise mother can learn the basics and treat her family in the usual household emergencies.

In other words, our present times give us an opportunity, if only we will take it.

It is time for us to finally come together as a community, to forget past grudges and to link arms for the sake of the healing method that we find so dear. In doing this, we must also, as Debby said, find a universal definition for homeopathy--and, ironically, the NCCAM website points us to the two specifics that must be contained in the definition: Similars and dilutions. These are the heart of the homeopathic method and practice and they are what we must work with and from in order to win the hearts and minds of those who are so desperately seeking a means of healing in their lives right now.

We must not get off message, especially among ourselves. As wonderful and valuable a lesson as John Harvey gives us right now creates more confusion than it clears away. Remember, we are not creating a definition that is to be used among ourselves, or among experts, but one to be used with and for the general public. For those who know nothing about homeopathy at all, or who mistake it for herbal medicine.

The task at hand, to put it simply, is a marketing task. It is not a medical debate, nor should we ever be willing to enter into that debate because, frankly, when you are dealing with a methodology like allopathy's, which most of us first heard about while in the womb, and you suddenly say to the person who was raised allopathically that everything they know about medicine is wrong, you are not going to get a very positive result. Traditionally (in the USA, anyway) people come to homeopathy AFTER everything else has failed. They'd rather an acupuncturist stick needles in them than take our sugar pills. Only when they are backed against the wall by illness and the restrictions that it causes do they give homeopathy a try. And they go from there.

So it is not the hearts and minds of the converts that we want, it is the hearts and minds of the vast millions of people who are chronically sick, who are experiencing the concept of having their diseases MANAGED via daily doses of multiple medicines, and who have given up hope that they can ever be healed. These, the "average" people in today's world, must be our targets. Win enough of their hearts and they will see to it that homeopathy survives. With their voices and their votes they will do what we cannot with our small numbers and our ongoing debates.

And so, I join together with the rest of you here with the deep and abiding hope (never underestimate hope, it is an engine when it is allowed to be) that we can do what has not been done until now and put together a media campaign that can begin to open some minds and some eyes and hearts as well.

Finding the universal definition is a large part of the foundation work. We must also decide what other words need defining for our purposes--healing and/or curing, suppression, expression, etc--and then, if we can actually do that (at which point we will be ahead of any other group I know of), we have to begin to plan a campaign that uses every available technology, ever talent and skill for marketing and selling that we can beg, borrow or steal and then we can begin to take a message to the world.

I believe in healing. I believe that most people are, in their hearts, minds and bodies, searching for healing, for themselves or for someone they love. If we can take the potential for healing to the world, what a gift we will bring. Ours must be a group that does not debate methods, that does not tangle itself in arguments. Ours must be a group that reminds the world of a simple truth that has been a part of medicine, however quietly at times, that like cures like.

We must leave it up to our practitioners to BE practitioners and not to be the educators. Whatever school of homeopathic practice they come from, they must be the best at it that they can possibly be, so that when new people come into homeopathy they will be guaranteed excellent treatments and excellent results. We need educators to educate, marketers to market, writers to create, smooth and polish the message and coordinators to coordinate. And we need to all work together as a team, for our common good. We must learn from politicians and from cultural leaders what works when you are trying to create a message that resonates and we must lift up from our usual grassroots efforts and not try to fill the small town hall for a lecture, but, instead, fill the whole of the internet with coherent, cohesive information. Then and only then can we begin to reclaim for homeopathy the position that it historically held--being the equal of allopathy in the treatment of those with disease.

What we want really is not to battle with the allopaths or to shove them into the sea. What we want is to preserve homeopathy as a viable choice in medical treatment and as a viable life's philosophy. To do that, we are going to have to sell it to the present generation and the generations to come. I have given you a thumbnail of how I see that taking place. Those are my ideas. I now look forward to hearing what others have to say on the subject.

--V
V for Victory!
It is little wonder that the grubby coalition of politicians and pharmaceutical interests that seeks to outlaw anything called homoeopathy is having such an easy time of it: even those professing to practise it don't know what homoeopathy is! And the reason for their ignorance is that even those who do know what it is succumb to the idea that it should be "all-inclusive": yes, yes, Hahnemann said it was the prescription of the medicine causing similar symptoms to those of the patient, but according to the mad eclectics in our midst, it need not always mean that, as long as it has something in common with what he did!

The idea that it is up to any of us to define homoeopathy anew is a mistake and hubris of the highest order. Homoeopathy is what it is. Our task is not to change it -- which we cannot -- but to recognise and articulate it -- which some of us can at least hope to do.

That which distinguishes homoeopathy from all else is entirely -- entirely! -- independent of potency and entirely dependent on symptom similarity. To throw potency into the requirement of homoeopathicity is not to make it easier for the public; it is to confuse everybody. And for the sake of what? For the sake of nothing more valuable than the right to remain confused.

Did Hahnemann say that small crude doses were not homoeopathic? No, he did not. He spent the opening aphorisms of the Organon painstakingly distinguishing homooepathy from enantiopathy and allopathy so that this utterly useless conversation need not ever distract anybody at all. It is only refusal to accept Hahnemann's definition that leads to any debate on the matte.

Vincent, I'm sorry to say that your implicit refusal to exclude potency considerations from anybody's understanding of what homoeopathy is and what it aims to do, motivated though it I know it is by the desire to convey a fuller understanding along with the minimum necessary definition, is not fulfilling your aim of simplifying the matter, but is instead introducing a single arbitrary consideration of good practice amongst a host of arbitrary and equally valuable considerations.

Joe Public's problem with homoeopathy does not arise from any contest with the law of similars. Rather, Joe has been misled to believe that the ridiculously small doses that homoeopathy usually does use are inherent to it, and on that basis alone to judge its worth. This is the falsehood we have to overcome, and it will not be overcome by accepting it!

If you want to state a definition that is accurate but also happens to include every consideration bearing on health, from suppression and expression to energy and healing and cure and reference to excellent results, then you are taking on the devil's own marketing task. Keep your distinction of homoeopathy from all else -- which is what a definition does -- to the simple, single thing that it is, prescription for greatest possible symptom similarity, and you have your definition, your straightforward marketing message, and the truth, all in one. There are a hundred ways of stating that definition, and I've used at least 50 of them, but they all amount to the same thing, the same distinction, the same boundary.

Exhortations to work together all as a team in attempting to usurp Hahnemann's place in defining homoeopathy are, I'd suggest, exhortations to perform an oxymoron. If you want to change the meaning of Hahnemann's word, then the appropriate thing to do is not to appropriate his word but to find your own phrase. In the case of inclusion of potency as a criterion of practice, you would want a phrase along the lines of potency-specific homoeopathy or homoeopathy using potentised medicine.
First, I beg you, don't call me Vincent. I have had 55 years of people calling me Vincent or Winston or some other variation on my name. Vinton. Hello, my name is Vinton.

Now, John, you are preaching to the choir. You do not need to explain homeopathy to me, I assure you that I understand its principles quite well, as do the rest of us at this forum I am quite sure.

The issue is how to market homeopathy to the world and not how to make the entire world expert in homeopathic philosophy and practice. Can you not see the difference?

If you can get a person's attention by giving them the gist of homeopathy, explaining the heart of it in VERY few and simple words, then you can, over time, as they experience it for themselves whether from a home kit or from the care of a homeopathic practitioner, educate that person fully about homeopathy. If you hit that same person with all the "unlearning" that they will have to go through to move from allopathy to homeopathy all at once, they will run screaming for the door. Which outcome do you want?

No one is saying that we need to define homeopathy anew. Indeed, we need to make use of the oldest parts of the tradition. What I am suggesting is that we simply need, as a community, to work from what few places of agreement that we have in order to give our message to the world. Why is that so impossible? The allopaths manage to do it. They have as many different schools of thought as we do, as many differing passionate practitioners, and yet, they have learned to close ranks publicly. I do not see how we would be hypocritical to do the same. It seems to me that we would be smart to learn to absorb our differences, even honor them, instead of, when faced with a differing point of view, shouting: "It is little wonder that the grubby coalition of politicians and pharmaceutical interests that seeks to outlaw anything called homoeopathy is having such an easy time of it: even those professing to practise it don't know what homoeopathy is!"

The inference that one must agree with every detail of the philosophy and practice of homeopathy in order to be an ally is tired and old and has to stop, has to be put aside now, before it is too late. The inference that, in disagreeing with you that a long-winded lecture is the best way to win new hearts to homeopathy means that I don't understand what homeopathy is is downright insulting. This is the very means by which the homeopathic movement has stopped itself from moving forward in the past, the same arguments, the same demands that each passionate homeopath has the inside road to understanding not only Hahnemann but also universal laws of healing.

John, I went to a religious college and I will make this comparison: I walked among the evangelists and each of them felt that they had a special understanding of God and of scripture because of their own individual spiritual experiences. Often they warred with each other over the meaning of Romans 8:28 or some other scripture. And what I often witnessed what that, in arguing their point, their own specific viewpoint of the scripture, they failed to hear when someone else had something equally insightful, equally valuable that they had learned form it. Too often, people of a given "calling", whether it is a calling to preach or teach or heal, become stiff and set in their ways.

I am not suggesting anything new in terms of practicing homeopathy--that is not even the point of this tread. I am suggesting something new in the way we work together and in the way that we, in working together, spread the word about homeopathy. If we do not soon learn to present a coherent message to the world, there will be too few of us to spread any message.

I deeply respect that you have had the education and experience to know in your heart and mind and spirit what homeopathy is and how it works in your experience. I would do nothing to take that from you, I would only honor you for it. But, you must understand, I would in the same way honor the practitioner who, having put in the same time and effort came to different conclusions as to what homeopathy is. You must come to see that there are many limbs on the tree of homeopathy, and each grew out of true belief, not out of any wish to demean or destroy homeopathy. And you must, in time, come to a willingness to "agree to disagree", to use a cliche, if we are any of us to survive.

I know what you are ready to write in response--that you have based everything you say on what Hahnemann wrote. I am quite sure that that is true. But, again, it is like scripture: everyone, even those who disagree with you on most of what you said (I, for one, could argue with you long and hard in your uses of the words healing and curing) would themselves say that they are basing everything that they believe on what Hahnemann wrote.

In the community of homeopaths, of which the practitioners are only a part, we have two choices. First, we can continue, as we have always done, to argue over our myriad differences, or, second, we can instead unite around our few areas of agreement. It is a very simple choice that I am asking you to make.

Should we choose the first path, then I believe we will soon see the end of homeopathy as it now exists. Laws are changing as I write this, and none of them in favor of homeopathy. Should we choose the second path, we at least have a chance, by offering the world a unified front, to win enough new people to homeopathy that they with their voices and their votes can help us fight the good fight. Honestly, those are the only two possibilities I can foresee. If anyone can see a third path, I would surely like to know about it.

John, foot stamping is a long tradition in homeopathy, and goes all the way back to Hahnemann. But I suggest that right now we all could give our poor, tired feet a rest and, instead, listen with an open heart and mind and CONSIDER, just consider that perhaps a gentler approach is needed.

--V

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