Aude sapere is the motto of The Organon.
So what is a motto?
“A motto is defined as a short explanatory phrase or a statement used to express a principle, goal, or ideal. It’s a phrase or word expressing the spirit or purpose of a group.”
So in our case Aude Sapere are two words that Hahneman wants us to instill as the spirit of The Organon. Let’s now understand what is Aude Sapere in letter and in spirit.
The first reference to Aude Sapere is found in Horace’s first book of Epistles written in 8th BC:
Dimidum facti qui coepit habet: Sapere Aude
He who has begun is half done: Dare to Know
Make a beginning
Make a beginning for what? Is the next logical question that needs to be addressed.
Cutting forward to many centuries Immanuel Kant, the great German philosopher who lived between 1724- 1804 and was a contemporary to Hahnemann in a landmark essay of 1799 titled What is Enlightenment? Wherein he answers our question, one must make a beginning to reach the goal of enlightenment.
“Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one’s own understanding without other’s guidance. This nonage is self imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one’s own mind without another’s guidance. Dare to Know (Sapere Aude) Have the courage to use your own Understanding is therefore the motto of enlightenment.”
Sapere Aude is a battle cry for readers to follow this program of intellectual self liberation, the tool for which is reason.
So why did our very own Hahnemann use Aude Sapere as the motto on the very first page of The Organon?
To answer this seminal question we would have to enter Hahnemann’s mindscape. The first thing to realize is that the first edition of The Organon had a different title and motto from other five editions that followed.
The first edition of The Organon was titled
“Organon of the Rational System of Medicine, by Samuel Hahnemann”
Then followed a motto from the poet Gallert
The truth we mortals need
Us blest to make & keep
The all-wise slightly covered O’er
But did not bury deep
In the second edition the title & motto was changed as
“The Organon of Medical Art, by Samuel Hahnemann”
and the motto being
This title and motto was then retained to the last edition.
By Aude Sapere we now know Hahnemann means Dare to know.
Hahnemann the wise man knew that the one who would aspire to become a true Homoeopath would have to take a leap of faith based on reason and understanding. Such a student would have to open his mind to the dynamic/ quantum world view. That is why Aude Sapere is a challenge to the Homoeopathic student.
So dear student dare to know, make a beginning read the Organon in letter and spirit. The student who shall dare to follow reason would be helped by The Organon to break the shackles of despotism and reveal through use of reasoned argument a better method of treatment (Homoeopathy) for the benefit of suffering mankind.
To all the students of Homoeopathy I would urge to understand that The Organon and its Aphorisms are a roadmap for a rationale system of medicine according to Homoeopathic rules. The courageous students who would dare to know would eventually master the rationale medical art of Homoeopathy.