We all of us love a mystery. Indeed, one might say that when mystery flies out the window boredom comes in by the door – one might even go further and say that boredom is always present unless mystery lifts us out of it. In fact, it is mystery that supplies the main, if not the whole zest in living – mystery, and
its unveiling.
And now for our mystery. The mystery of the infinitesimal homoeopathic dose is really the mystery of the non-existent dose – a mystery worked daily by countless homoeopaths, all the world over, who cure illness by giving doses of medicine, which, so far as material standards are concerned, are non-existent.
Those who endeavor to cure the ills of the body by medicine can broadly be divided into two camps. The orthodox and numerous allopaths, and the unorthodox and few homoeopaths and they work on exactly opposite principles.
If you have a pain in your head the allopath tries to cure it by giving you a pain killer – aspirin or morphia for instance. If he is a progressive and enlightened allopath he will also investigate the pain and try to discover its cause. But if he finds it he will attack it on the same principles. If he finds eye strain, he will provide spectacles. If he finds a tumour, he will call in a surgeon to remove it or a radiologist to smite it. If he finds
hardened arteries, he will seek for a drug which has been proved experimentally on animals, or clinically on human beings, to have the opposite effect – the effect of softening arteries. That is to say, he works by opposites, he endeavours to adjust the disharmony of the body by opposite forces drawn from outside nature
– unless he happens to use autogenous vaccines, in which case he is drifting dangerously near to Homoeopathy,
If, however, you go to a homoeopath with a pain in your head, he works differently. Instead of using an opposite force, he uses a similar force.
The homoeopath possesses a vast materia medica of over thousand drugs, drugs of mineral, vegetable and animal origin. The action of each of these drugs upon healthy human being
has been exhaustively studied. They have not been given laboratory animals, but to healthy human beings over considerable periods of time, and the reactions or symptoms that they have caused in the “provers,” as those who take the drugs called, have been noted down
Some of these drugs were peculiar in that they produced headaches, and the homoeopath tries to match the headache that you have got with the headache which provers experienced when
they were taking one particular drug.
Some drugs caused headaches which began at the front of the head, others caused headaches which began at the back of the head; some caused headaches which were relieved by pressure,
others caused headaches which were accentuated by pressure.
For instance – if you have a headache which began at the back of your head, which came over the top of your head and which settled over your right eye, which was worse for pressure, because the scalp was so sensitive, and which was better from warmth so that you got relief by wrapping a towel or something warm lightly round your head, you would probably get a dose of Silicea which produced just such a headache in its provers.
If, however, you had a headache with boring pain over the left eye which was relieved by tying up your head tightly, because you felt that your head was huge and must be compressed, you would probably be given a dose of Argentum nitricum, for this is the sort of headache that Argentum nitricum, silver nitrate, produced in its provers. I say probably, because the good homoeopathist does not deal with his patient solely on the basis of his immediate and pressing symptoms, he always takes the totality
his patient into account. Like the allopath he will consider the possibility of eye-strain, tumour, arteries, etc. – but he also considers whether his patient is fat or thin, placid or excitable, chilly
or warm, and seeks for all the thousand individual idiosyncrasies which distinguish one person from another.
But this difference of principle between allopaths and homoeopaths does not really concern us now. The difference that primarily concerns us is one of quantity, a substantial, material
The allopath gives his drugs in substantial, ponderable doses. The homoeopath gives his drugs in insubstantial imponderable doses. He works with what are called potencies, which are made
as follows: –
One drop of, say silver nitrate solution is added to ninety- nine drops of water or alcohol, and vigorously succussed. This is called the first centesimal potency.
One drop of this is then again added to ninety-nine drops of water or alcohol and again vigorously succussed. This is called the second centesimal potency. The first gave us a dilution of one
in one hundred. The second gives us a dilution of one in ten thousand. If we repeat the process six times we get the sixth centesimal potency, which contains one part of silver nitrate in
one trillion parts of the diluent.
By the time we get to the twelfth centesimal potency there is no longer any silver nitrate left, and most homoeopaths work with potencies of thirty upwards to a hundred thousand potencies in which there can be no question of any trace of the original drug remaining; and they claim to get better results with these
high potencies than with low potencies such as the sixth.
Hence the mystery of the infinitesimal dose.
With our present limited knowledge there is only one possible way in which we can think of the homoeopathic dose, and that is in terms of energy.
We know, for instance, that the original drop of silver nitrate solution contained comparatively little actual substance, about one billionth of it was substance. But this substance was moving
about with such incredible rapidity, owing to some unknown source of energy, that we were able to know it as a tangible, substantial drop of silver nitrate.
When we potentize that drop we disperse it evenly through the liquid in which we potentize it, and in doing, so it is conceivable that we release some of its energy, so that the energy inheres
in the liquid. When we repeat the process it is conceivable that we release more of that energy. There is then only one ten thousandth part of the original drop left, and it and its energies
diffused through the liquid, so that the liquid has changed, is now charged with the energy of silver nitrate.
This process continues with the succeeding potentizations until the last molecule of the silver nitrate has been winnowed away, and only its energies remain; so that eventually, somewhere about the twelfth potency we have no silver nitrate left at all, but only those mysterious energies which are silver nitrate, now freed
from their material envelopes, transferred to the liquid.
What further potentizing does is less easy to conjecture. Possibly the energy of each vigorous shaking is added to the released energies of the drug. But that is really outside our present problem. The point is that we are dealing with energy and not with matter.
As I see it then, when the homoeopath gives a dose of silver nitrate at the twelfth potency or higher, he gives, not silver nitrate, but those energies which are in reality silver nitrate in its
material form. But the immediate point is that the material envelope has been winnowed away, and the actual reality of that material envelope – its energy – remains and exercises its curative effects upon the living body when it is correctly administered.
Source : The  Layman Speaks, September 1952.

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