Organon §11

In disease, the life force is first dynamically mistuned and then manifests its mistunement through symptoms.

When a person falls ill, it is initially only this spirit-like, autonomic life force (life principle), everywhere present in the organism, that is mistuned through the dynamic 63 influence of a morbific agent inimical to life. Only the life principle, mistuned to such abnormality, can impart to the organism the adverse sensations and induce in the organism the irregular functions that we call disease. The life principle is a power-wesen invisible in itself, only discernible by its effects on the organism. Therefore, its morbid mistunement only makes itself known [discernible] by manifestations of disease in feelings and functions (the only aspects of the organism accessible to the senses of the observer and the medical-art practitioner). In other words, the morbid mistunement of the life principle makes itself discernible by disease symptoms; in no other way can it make itself known.

63 What is dynamic influence, dynamic power? We perceive that, by some secret invisible force, our earth conducts its moon around itself in twenty-eight days and a few hours, and the moon, in turn, raises our northern seas to flood tide at set hours and, in an equal number of hours, lets it sink again to ebb tide (allowing for some variation at the full and new moons). We see this and are amazed because our senses do not perceive how this happens. Obviously this does not happen through material instruments, nor through mechanical arrangements like human works. We also see about us a great many other events as the effect of one substance upon another where one cannot discern any sense-perceptible connection between the cause and the effect. Only someone who is cultivated and therefore exercised in comparison and abstraction can form a kind of supersensible idea of this, keeping far from his thoughts all that is material or mechanical. He terms such actions dynamic, virtual, taking place by the absolute, specific, pure power and action of one [substance] upon another. In the same way, the dynamic action of morbific influences on the healthy person, as well as the dynamic power of medicines on the life principle in order to make the person healthy again, are nothing other than contagion. They are as utterly non-material, as utterly non-mechanical, as the power of a bar magnet is when it forcibly attracts to itself a piece of iron or steel lying next to it.

A magnet's action upon a nearby piece of iron or a steel needle is neither material nor mechanical. One sees that the piece of iron is attracted by one end (pole) of the magnet but one does not see how this takes place. This invisible power of the magnet needs no mechanical (material) helping-means, no hook or lever to attract the iron. It attracts it to itself and acts upon the piece of iron or on the steel needle by means of its own (pure) immaterial, invisible, spirit-like energy, that is, it does so dynamically. Morever, the magnet invisibly (dynamically) transmits magnetic energy to the steel needle which, in turn, becomes magnetic, even at a distance, without the magnet touching it. The steel needle can then transmit the same magnetic property to other steel needles (dynamically).

In a similar way, a child with smallpox or measles transmits the disease to a nearby healthy child, even without touching him. This contamination takes place invisibly (dynamically) at a distance, without something material having come (or having been able to come) into the affected child from the contagious one, just as there is no material transmission between the magnet and the steel needle. A solely specific, spirit-like impingement communicates smallpox or measles from one child to another nearby, just as a magnet communicates the magnetic property to a steel needle nearby.

The action of medicines on the living human is to be judged in a similar way. Natural substances that prove to be medicines are only medicines in so far as they possess (each their own specific) power to alter the human condition by a spirit-like impingement (via a living sensitive fiber) on the spirit-like, life-managing life principle. What is medicinal in those natural substances that, in a narrower sense, we call medicines refers solely to their power to elicit alterations in the condition of our animal life. It only extends its condition-altering spirit-like (dynamic) influence to the spirit-like life principle, just as the proximity of one pole of a magnet can impart only magnetic energy to the steel (through a kind of contagion, to be sure) but not other properties (not, for example, hardness or malleability, etc.). And so, each special medicinal substance also alters the human condition through a kind of contagion in a way exclusively peculiar to itself and not in a way that is inherent in any other medicine, as certainly as the proximity of a child sick with smallpox will communicate only smallpox to a healthy child and not measles. This impingement of the medicines upon our condition happens dynamically, as by contagion, entirely without communication of any material parts of the medicinal substance.

The smallest dose of a medicine dynamized in the best manner (wherein, after committed calculation, only so little material can be found that its smallness cannot be thought of or grasped, even by the best mathematical brain) gives out, in the appropriate disease case, more curative energy by far than large doses of the same medicinal substance. This finest dose is almost nothing but pure, freely unveiled, spirit-like medicinal energy, and carries out - only dynamically - such great actions as could never be achieved by the raw medicinal substance, even when it is taken in a large dose. The specific medicinal energy of these highly dynamized medicines does not depend on their corporeal atoms nor on their physical or mathematical surfaces (ideas that are the product of futile and still materialistic theorizing about dynamized medicines, whose energy is higher). Rather, there lies invisible in the moistened globule or its solution- uncovered and freed as much as possible from the medicinal substance- a specific medicinal energy which, through contact with the living animal fiber, impinges dynamically on the entire organism (however without communicating to it any matter, howsoever finely conceived). This dynamic action is more and more powerful as the medicinal energy becomes freer and more immaterial through progressive dynamization (§270).Is it then so utterly impossible for our age, celebrated for its wealth of clear thinkers, to think of dynamic energy as something incorporeal when we see around us everyday so many befallments that cannot be explained in any other way? If you look at something disgusting and it makes you sick to your stomach, did some material emetic perchance get into your stomach that forced this peristaltic movement? Was it not solely the dynamic action of the disgusting sight upon your imagination? And when you lift up your arm, does it happen, perhaps, by means of a material, visible instrument? a lever? Is it not solely the spirit-like, dynamic energy of your will that lifts it?