Book review Dr R Rejikumar
Publisher : B. Jain .Printed in : India
First Edition : 2003. Price : Rs 250.00
An ardent follower of Hahnemann with extreme love for homoeopathic truth can never fail to read the biography of our master written by at least one of the authors like Bradford, Richard Haehl, Trevor M. Cook , Rosa Waugh Hobhouse etal.
The book being reviewed here deserves special attention as it unveils some mysterious aspects of Hahnemann’s life together with interesting details and explanations.
About the Author – Peter Morrell
Birth : 1950 at Newark
Childhood life : Nottinghamshire
Mother : Olive Gwendoline Grand-Scrutton (1917-84
Father : Reginald (1912-65
Main other interests : art, poetry, astrology, Buddhism and homoeopathy.
Involvement with Homoeopathy
1978 when he was taught the basics by a student of George MacLeod.
Reader in Zoology at Leeds University
College lecturer in sciences since 1975.
Practiced on a part-time basis throughout the 1980s.
Engaged with researching aspects of the history of Homoeopathy since 1989.
Elected by the Dean of Social Sciences and the Academic Board as Honorary Research Associate in the History of Medicine at Staffordshire University for a period of 3 years.
Presented research papers on this theme in Stuttgart, Linkoping, Sweden, London and Keele.
“A deeper appreciation of the phenomenal energy and staggering achievements of this multi-talented medical rebel & pioneer, and especially perhaps, some insights into his personality, mode of thinking and how Homoeopathy came to be brought into being.”
“Hahnemann’s vision of a radically curative medicine will hopefully become established in the next quarter millennium and then natural, healing therapies will at last begin to dominate medicine and take up their long-deserved position of greater prestige.”
The author says that he is giving accounts of a person he has come to know intimately like a close friend.
Some noteworthy Chapters
- Hahnemann’s discovery of Homoeopathy
- Coming out of the darkness like a meteor
- Hahnemann: The Adventurous career of a medical rebel (Written by Martin Gumpert, reviewed by Peter Morrell)
- Hahnemann & Paracelsus; a heavenly dialogue
- Hahnemann & Homoeopathy from Romanticism to Post-Modernism
- Hahnemann – the Real Pioneer of Psychiatry
- Fate versus wish (written by Dr. P. Krishnan)
Novel ideas / findings in the book
- Hahnemann was reluctant to associate his new system of medicine with the name of Theophrastus or Paracelsus for fear of being misunderstood or being accused of plagiarism. (p. 15)
- The truth is of course, that Hahnemann was a second Paracelsus, but he felt he had to hide this fact. (p.72)
- It was probably Immanuel Kant’s that inspired Hahnemann to formulate his homoeopathic ideas into an aphoristic style. (p.18)
- Hahnemann’s system very accurately mirrors the history of his day, its underlying ambivalence and uncertainty, and the ‘cultural schizophrenia’ of his fellow countrymen in the latter half of the 18th century. (p. 23)
- Hahnemann, like Paracelsus before him, had a strong preference for mineral drugs. Out of the 48 drugs listed in ‘The Chronic Diseases’, 35 are minerals. (p.34)
As an Aries with Sagittarius rising, one would expect a person to have a forceful, daring and passionate nature, easily roused to argument though generally quick to forgive and forget. (p. 80)
Sun and Moon both in Aries in 4th house indicate a person who is pioneer, even a loner, constantly trying out new things and new ways of looking at (old) things. (p. 82)
Saturn in Capricorn in the second house indicates a persistent lack of cash and a person who is poor or destitute for most of their life. It also signifies thwarted ambitions and a life frustrated by barriers that prevent one being accepted by society. (p. 82)
It is clear that Homoeopathy ruled by Hahnemann’s Jupiter in Virgo would undergo radical developments in years ahead as Pluto enters and moves through Sagittarius and especially as it passes through the critical 9-14 degrees. This will be in 1999-2005 approx. (p. 87)
Controversial / debatable remarks
Hahnemann was seeing about 15 –18 patients ( 5 – 10 initial consultations and remaining follow ups) per day during his practice in Paris.
Hahnemann and Melanie spent approximately 1 – 1.5 hours per consultation.
I think the Coffee theory ( Lesser writings pp. 391-410) is a good example both of Hahnemann’s superior mental powers and of his occasional tendency to make up a grand theory from scant evidence. (p. 134)
Those Homoeopaths who can with honesty say they use mainly potencies 12, 18, 24 and 30 can truly call themselves Hahnemannian. The rest cannot.
Also, the history of homoeopathy since Hahnemann clearly shows that in different lands and continents, people have adapted his teachings and principles differently and devised various modes of practice, all with their own good track records.
The book reviewed being a research work of years and a collection of articles published over a span of time, there are some shortcomings with regard to the flow of ideas and statistical data wounding the belief s of classical homoeopaths. But the merit is that this critical work will open up discussions as to the life and times of Hahnemann as well as it will give an unbiased view to all lovers of medical history.
Dr R Rejikumar