I have had a few comments asking for explanation of Aphorism 5 of the Organon. It is fairly self explanatory but there is much we can expand on.
Hahnemann wrote, “Useful to the physician in assisting him to cure are the particulars of the most probable exciting cause of the acute disease, as also the most significant points in the whole history of the chronic disease, to enable him to discover its fundamental cause, which is generally due to a chronic miasm. In these investigations, the ascertainable physical constitution of the patient (especially when the disease is chronic), his moral and intellectual character, his occupation, mode of living and habits, his social and domestic relations, his age, sexual function, etc., are to be taken into consideration.”
At first read there seems to be a lot to take into consideration. Lets break it down by the sentence. In the first sentence he says that it is useful for the physician to know certain things about the client in order to assist him in cure of acute and chronic disease. It is necessary to know the history of how this person became ill.
He acknowledges that miasm is the root cause of all illness. But in acute illness it is necessary to know what caused it. What led to the acute expression? There is usually an exciting cause and insult or injury to the person at some level, most often emotionally. How we see our world most often gets expressed in a chronic sense. But it sets the predisposition or susceptibility for morbid influences to effect us.
In acutes there is usually something in our most recent life that is the cause of the suffering. Investigate what has happened to the person in the prior month to days. Have they had any changes in their life? Have they suffered any wrongs to them, embarrassing events or insults? Has there been any discords or anger? Have they got enough sleep? Have there been especially stressful situations in their life? These kind of questions may lead to the exciting cause more easily.
In the chronic expression of disease it is necessary to look at a longer timeline of the person. Often there is a single exciting cause that is behind the shift in health that has evolved into a chronic expression. If we can not see the thread of the compensation in the person it will be difficult to find what is asking to be healed.
Every person has a story that makes sense to them. Our job as a homeopath is to understand and separate health from disease. In order to do this we have to take their story and put it into the context of their life. To do this we need to understand what the conditions of their life is. They will tell you in many ways if we are trained and listening without prejudice. But often it is necessary to investigate about their life so we can understand it more fully. If we ignore cultural influences, the moral choices, intellectual capabilities, etc., we will not have a very accurate picture of their life to bring into context. We also need to know about their relationships, their work, their habits and sexual functions to complete the picture.
These investigations are where we really need to have great understanding of what is health and disease. We need to recognize them both. It is in these investigations that we can get the true picture of the disease in the person. It is discernment in this understanding that keeps us from forming prejudice about the case or person. Having a blueprint or guide for proper modes of living is very good. Often these come from religious doctrine. I personally have studies Kaballah with my teacher and have found that it is a very good guide for understanding universal law and being able to discern health from disease. You may find that your religious teachings have brought you a clearer understanding of healthy ways to live a life. These will serve you well in understanding health and its deviations.
Only by understanding the total picture of disease in your client will you be able to know what is asking to be healed and find the perfect remedy for them. In understanding the total picture of disease it is always much more than the physically presenting symptoms. There is a story of their life in their disease. If this can be perceived it will be much easier to help the person. Homeopathy is life medicine. There is no separation of a persons life from the acute or chronic disease. It is all one and the same.
This is what Hahnemann is really talking about in Aphorism 5. Investigate the persons life. Have knowledge of what is health and what is disease. Put the persons life and how they live it into context. Find the deviations from health in all aspects of their life. Know what is asking to be healed. Only then could you find the true picture of the disease.