Vital Force and Homoeopathy

A homoeopathic physician deals with energies. These are of three different kinds – (i) Energy in the man during life while in perfect health. (ii) Morbid energies in the nature, which make the man sick. (iii) Energies of the remedies which restores the man to health.

When Hahnemann says:
“If the physician clearly perceives what is to be cured in diseases, that is to say in individual case of disease; if he clearly perceives what is curative in medicines, that is to say, in each individual medicine..” ( Organon, Aphor.3)

He clearly indicates about the above stated later two energies. For the energy in the man during life he used the terms Vital Force, Dynamis, Vital Principle and Autocracy. Actually, the energy is solely responsible for life of a person during health, under the influence of disease or the drug. Being subtle it can not be explained in physical terms, but, its presence can be felt, it can be perceived and it could clearly be understood whether it is in healthy condition or is sick, by the signs and symptoms it represents through the medium of the senses and body. And, by the help of these signs and symptoms again can transform it into healthy condition by proper remedies.

Here, I will try to put some logic to elaborate the Vital Force: –

Life is constituted of
(a) Material being i.e. the physical body.
(b) Immaterial being i.e. the Vital Force and the soul.
Both these beings are linked together in degrees of fineness.

The energy flowing from the absolute (the soul) towards the physical being and nourishment from physical being to the inner self, thus forming life cycle, and the integrated whole life.

Hahnemann says, ” The material organism, without the vital force, is capable of no function, no self-preservation ( It is dead, and now only subject to power of the external physical world, it decays and is again resolved into its chemical constituents), it derives all sensation and performs all the functions of life solely by means of the immaterial being ( the vital force) which animates the material organism in health and in disease.” (Organon. Aphor. 10)

The material being consists the following systems listed approximately in order of importance: –
(i) The Nervous System- it includes brain, spinal cord, ganglia and plexuses and peripheral nerve fibers.
(ii) The Circulatory System- it includes heart, blood vessels, the blood itself, lymphatic vessels and lymphs.
(iii) The Endocrine System- it includes pituitary gland thyroid gland and parathyroid glands, adrenal glands, islets of langerhans, ovaries and testes and pineal gland.
(iv) The Digestive System- it consists of liver, pancreas, alimentary canal, with its accessory glands.
(v) The respiratory System- it consists of lungs, bronchi, trachea, pharynx and nose.
(vi) The Excretory System- it consists of kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra.
(vii) The Reproductive System- it consists testes, seminal vesicles, penis, urethra, prostate and bulbo-urethral gland in the male and the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, vagina and vulva in female.
(viii) The Skeletal System- it includes bones, connective tissues and joints.
(ix) The Muscular System- it consists of straited and non-straited muscles.

Whole physical pathology and radiology is based on the above systems. But every homoeopath knows that life is more than all this.

While a person is perfectly healthy, Hahnemann defines this state in the following words,
“In the healthy condition of man, the spiritual vital force (autocracy), the dynamis that animates the material body (organism), rules with unbounded sway and retains all the parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious, vital operation, as regards both sensations and functions, so that our indwelling, reason gifted mind can freely employ this living, healthy instrument for the higher purposes of our existence.” (Organon, Aphor. 9)

In the ancient Indian thought of philosophy extensive work had been done in respect with life which is available in great detail in Yajurveda, Yoga, Bhagawadageeta and even in Ayurveda especially in Charakasamhita. But, all this work had been done with the aim to achieve Moksha (emancipation- i.e. release from the cycle of rebirth in this world).

On the other hand Hahnemann did the research only in the field of health, disease and remedy.

According to the Indian thought life is constituted of the material organism and the soul. Soul is the absolute simple substance (as termed by Dr. J. T. Kent) or is like the nucleus in an atom. The soul according to Bhagawadageeta is eternal and immortal, Lord Krishna says: –
uSua fNUnfUr ?L=kf.k uSua ngfr ikod% A
u pSua Dysn;Urkiks u ?ks?;fr ek#r% AA23-2AA
(The soul can not be destroyed by any means).

He says that, when the material organism becomes incapable of holding the soul any more, it discards the old organism to a new one, in same way as we discard the and worn out clothes.
Okklkafl th.kZkf.k ;Fkk fogk; uokfu x`g~.kkfr ujks.ijkf.k A
rFkk ?jhjkf.k fogk; th.kZkU;U;kfu la;kfr uokfu nsfg AA22-2AA

So, the soul is just like the neutron in an atom. It is a fact that the existence of matter is due to the neutron, yet it remains absolutely neutral, therefore, the soul can not be the Vital Force, the term used by Hahnemann, since it plays its role in the process of life through various kinds of sensations and feelings. Hence, the Vital Force must be a point in degrees of fineness between the physical organism and the soul.

According to Indian philosophy, it is supposed that the life is constituted of three bodies, namely: –
Sthoola shareera = the material body, constituted of flesh, bones, etc. and is a combination of five elementary substances viz. Prithvi (earth), jala (water), agni (fire), vayu (air) and akash (ether).
Sookshama shareera = the subtle body, constituted of will and understanding _ manah (mind), buddhi (wisdom), chittah (thought or reflection), ahamkara (ego), etc. which give to the physical organism (the body) the sense of touch, smell, form and sound, etc.
Karana shareera = the motive body – it is called the consciousness/innerself , which is the source of life and sets the course of faiths, desires and values.

This subtle body may be taken as synonymous to the Vital Force as named by Hahnemann.

Kent also says that it is the will and understanding which is first affected by the morbid or sick making energies.

Dr. George Vithoulkas in his book “Science of Homoeopathy” says,
“Homoeopathy is a living dynamic science and can be effective only if it becomes a living pulsating knowledge within the mind and heart of the practicing homoeopath.” (Preface)

He says,
” To re-establish health in a diseased individual, it is crucial for the professional to first ask the following questions: –
(i) What is a human being?
(ii) How does the human being constructed?
(iii) How does the human being function in the context of his universe?
(iv) What are the laws and principles governing the function of the human being in both health and disease?

In reply to these questions he writes: –
(i) The human being is an integrated whole acting all the time through three distinct levels: the mental, the emotional and the physical level; the mental level being the most important and the physical the least.
(ii) The activity of the organism may be passive or active. In disease, the “reactions” of the defense mechanism to various stimuli are of most concern to the practitioner.
(iii) The human being, from the moment of birth, lives in dynamic environment which is affecting his organism at all times in many ways and is, therefore, obliged to adjust continuously in order to maintain a dynamic equilibrium.
(iv) If the stimuli are stronger than the organism’s natural resistance, a state of balance will occur with signs and symptoms erroneously labeled “disease”.
(v) The results of this struggle can be seen primarily upon the mental, emotional or physical level, depending upon the overall state of health at the moment of stress.

According to Dr. Vithoulkas, the three levels of a man are:
(i) Mental level of an individual is that which registers changes in understanding or consciousness.
(ii) Emotional level is that which registers changes in emotional states.
(iii) Physical level is part of the human organism with which the medicine has traditionally occupied itself.

However there is a singular fact which appears to have not become evident to most physicians despite all this research — that the human body in its complexity maintains a hierarchy of importance of its organs and systems.

The Vital Force as seen by modern science as summarized by Dr. Vithoulkas:
(i) The defence mechanism, acting on all level of the organism, functions as an integrated whole and systematically defends the inner and spiritual regions in the best possible manner.
(ii) The known physiological and chemical mechanisms of the body are tools of the defence mechanism.
(iii) The defence mechanism is that aspect of the vital force responding specifically in the diseased state.

According to Dr. Kent the Vital Force or the simple substance has the character of formative intelligence, is subject to changes, pervades the material substance without replacing it, creating order in the body, belonging to the realm of quantity (the realms of degrees of fineness) being adaptable and being constructive.

To sum up the idea of Vital Force as presented by Dr. Kent is given above, according to Dr. Vithoulkas it is the defence mechanism in the living body and according to the ancient Indian thought it is the sookshama shareera (the subtle body) or the consciousness.

The purpose of choosing to write on Vital Force is to express the idea that the homoeopathic physician has to deal, as has been said in the beginning, with the energies, which work from centre to circumference. Experience has well established the fact that the innerself of the living organism governs. When this innerself is disordered, as seen during diseases, whole being gets disordered. This disordered state is represented by various signs and symptoms, if these signs and symptoms are not interpreted properly in the beginning of the disease and not remedied by proper homoeopathic medicines, pathological changes take place and recovery becomes more and more tedious.

Similarly, the drugs when potentized and proved well, become live entities and capable of affecting the innerself instantly.
Though it is not easy to explain the Vital Force, yet, if the homoeopathic physicians could perceive the idea, they may become more proficient in the art of healing, the CURE as termed by Dr. S. F. Hahnemann.

(i) Organon of Medicine- Hahnemann.
(ii) Science of Homoeopathy- Dr, George Vithoulkas.
(iii) Lectures on Homoeopathic Philosophy- Dr. J. T. Kent.
(iv) Yajurveda.
(v) Bhagwadageeta.
(vi) Charaka Samhita.
* * * * * *

“Doon Ratna” Dr. S. K. Mamgain Gold Medalist
218, D. L. Road, Dehra Dun-248 001 (India)
Phone No. 91 135-656578(R)

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