So what does understanding the case mean in real terms?
Firstly, if a person is to take a case, they will have to follow the directions for doing so PRECISELY from Hahnemann’s writings. For those that have skipped learning from the ORGANON and Chronic DISEASES, I’m afraid you will have to take the time to investigate and understand the applied methodology. No modern teaching replaces the methodology required to ascertain what is required to cure the patient.
There are 3 areas of investigation. Aphorism 5, Aphorism 6 and aph 153.
- A word about health. First, there is the constitutional makeup of a person. The genetic predisposition of family traits, disease inheritance and weaknesses. These things are the bedrock of an individual’s life soil upon which sickness can take hold. It is the background for the term susceptibility, in the main not forgetting life events which can weaken and predispose a person to illness. This is covered in aphorism 5.
- Aphorism 6 contains the instructions on how to note the symptoms of a presenting case of illness, be it acute or chronic. How to examine all the presenting symptoms of the patient including symptoms that arose that are NOT symptoms of the named disease, but arose during this bout of illness.
- Once all these bits and pieces of information have been collated and itemised by location, sensation and modalities, the case can then be synthesised through the filter of aphorism 153, to find the closest remedy to the chosen symptoms.
It is at this point in the case analysis, that the medical evaluation of the patient’s illness is diagnosed. Please note, I said the patient’s illness, NOT the named pathological disease. The symptoms of the named disease are examined carefully to see what is common to the illness, and what symptoms are prominent in the patient.
Aph 153 is the key to making a prescription.
§ 153 Sixth Edition
“In this search for a homoeopathic specific remedy, that is to say, in this comparison of the collective symptoms of the natural disease with the list of symptoms of known medicines, in order to find among these an artificial morbific agent corresponding by similarity to the disease to be cured, the more striking, singular, uncommon and peculiar (characteristic) signs and symptoms of the case of disease are chiefly and most solely to be kept in view; for it is more particularly these that very similar ones in the list of symptoms of the selected medicine must correspond to, in order to constitute it the most suitable for effecting the cure. The more general and undefined symptoms: loss of appetite, headache, debility, restless sleep, discomfort, and so forth, demand but little attention when of that vague and indefinite character, if they cannot be more accurately described, as symptoms of such a general nature are observed in almost every disease and from almost every drug.”
This observation by Dr Samuel Hahnemann is one of the most misunderstood, misquoted and mistaught aphorisms in the whole Organon. I have seen false teachers of homoeopathy, spend hours if not days, lecturing on finding the hidden personal psychiatric symptoms of a mind that “represents” the inner disease which bears no relationship to the suffering experienced by the patient.
A competent student of homoeopathy, having diligently applied him or herself, to the writings of Samuel Hahnemann, will have no trouble in comprehending the true meaning of this aphorism in relationship to, studying the disease state of the patient, and in finding the similarity to a Medicinal agent that has the power to cause similar symptoms.
The word “Peculiar” is one of those words, which has been taken out of context and lost its true meaning within the range of the aphorism and the subjects being discussed.
“….Belonging distinctively or primarily to one person, group, or kind; special or unique: Example: “a species peculiar to this area.”
We, therefore, see, simply by reading the aphorism, that Hahnemann is directing our attention to signs and symptoms of both the disease state AND and a proven substance that can reproduce accurately the same distinctive, or peculiar, collection of symptoms that is expressed through the patient’s observable symptoms.
All symptoms of disease, singularly, may be common, vague, non-distinct, and representative of 1000 different ailments, until, they are linked together and form a pattern and a discernible representation of a pathological expression of one known disease. In the same way, a collection of symptoms noted by a homoeopathic physician, that represents the entirety of the internal disorder or disease, will find its correlation in few medicines, simply because of the “peculiarity” of the combined symptoms, that is to say, the “strangeness and the rareness” of these symptoms being found together and expressed by the patient in its expression. Strange and rare do not imply the symptoms are strange or rare, it implies the characteristics of their combination are rarely found except in a few medicines.
This combination then becomes the CHARACTERISTIC or peculiarity of both the medicine and the disease.
We are not looking for anything else, other than accurately observed symptoms of the disorder in the patient, that by its individual expression, for example, the modalities, the aggravations and ameliorations of times and circumstances, or by the combination of particular symptoms, that individualise this particular case of disease, which is matched in its singularity (by the combination of symptoms or type of onset, or periodicity) by a proven medicine to individualise it.
Patient: 10 symptoms. Each symptom individually is covered by 125 medicines. (Common)
Three modalities of the patient’s disease are represented in only 5 medicines in COMBINATION.
Three Modalities and one location is covered by only ONE Medicine in the expression of the disease.
Please please go through the several cases posted on this website, https://instituteforhomoeopathicmedicine.org/ and using this information see how we look for the more defined symptoms in the case of disease that may or may not be representative of a known pathological named disease, but are present in the patient and therefore cannot be ignored.
By using this knowledge, and also following the recommendation in § 6 Sixth Edition:
The unprejudiced observer – well aware of the futility of transcendental speculations which can receive no confirmation from experience – be his powers of penetration ever so great, takes note of nothing in every individual disease, except the changes in the health of the body and of the mind (morbid phenomena, accidents, symptoms) which can be perceived externally by means of the senses; that is to say, he notices only the deviations from the former healthy state of the now diseased individual, which are felt by the patient himself, remarked by those around him and observed by the physician. All these perceptible signs represent the disease in its whole extent, that is, together they form the true and only conceivable portrait of the disease.
it should be possible now, without speculation, or metaphysical thinking, to apply Hannemann’s directions in every case of disease and try to elicit the true guiding symptoms that are characteristic of the disease and are matched as near as possible to a medicine that is capable of producing the same symptom picture, and therefore elicit a curative action.