Organon §69

Initial and counter-actions in antipathic treatments

In the antipathic (palliative) mode of treatment, just the reverse takes place. The medicinal symptom that the physician uses to oppose the disease symptom (for example, the insensibility and stupor engendered by opium in its initial action against sharp, intense pain) is, to be sure, not foreign to the disease symptom; it is not fully allopathic. A manifest connection between the medicinal symptom and the disease symptom is visible, but it is the inverse connection. It is here intended that the annihilation of the disease symptom take place with an opposite medicinal symptom, which is impossible. To be sure, the antipathically selected medicine just as certainly touches the same disease point in the organism as the similar morbific, homeopathically selected medicine, but the antipathically selected medicine, as an opposite, only lightly conceals the opposed disease symptom, making it unnoticeable to our life principle for a short time only. In the first moment of the impingement of the palliative, the life force feels nothing unpleasant from either the disease symptom or from the opposed medicinal symptom since both appear to have mutually lifted and, as it were, dynamically neutralized one another in the feeling of the life principle. For example, the stupefying energy of opium neutralizes pain. In the first minutes, the life force feels healthy and is sensible of neither the stupor of the opium nor the pain of the disease. However, the opposite medicinal symptom cannot (as in the homeopathic procedure) occupy the place in the organism (in the feeling of the life principle) held by the present disease mistunement as a similar, stronger artificial disease. It cannot (like a homeopathic medicine) affect the life principle with a very similar artificial disease so as to step into the place of the natural disease mistunement. Therefore, the palliative medicine must leave the disease mistunement uneradicated, since the medicine is entirely a deviation, through opposition, from the disease mistunement. As has been said, the palliative medicine renders the disease mistunement initially unfeelable to the life force by a semblance of dynamic neutralization 127 but it soon expires by itself, like every medicinal disease, and not only leaves the disease behind, as it was before, but also (since, like all palliatives, it had to be given in large dosage in order to achieve a pseudo-assuagement) compels the life force to bring forth an opposite state (§63-§65) to the palliative medicine, the opposite of the medicinal action. Hence, the similar of the present unexpunged natural disease mistunement is produced. This addition which is brought forth by the life force (the counter-action to the palliative) necessarily amplifies and augments the natural disease mistunement. 128 The disease symptom (that single part of the disease opposed by the palliative) consequently becomes worse after the duration of action of the palliative has lapsed. The symptom is all the worse, the larger the dose of the palliative has been. Therefore (to stay with the same example) the larger the dose of opium given to conceal the pain, the more the pain will increase its original intensity as soon as the opium has exhausted its action. 129


127 In the living human being, no lasting neutralization of contending or antagonistic sensations takes place, as happens perchance with substances of opposing properties in the chemistry lab where, for example, sulphuric acid and potash unite themselves into quite another wesen [entity], a neutral salt, which then is no longer either acid or alkali and does not break down again, even in fire. Such fusions and intimate unions into something lastingly neutral and indifferent never take place, as was said, during dynamic impressions of an opposed nature in the implements of our sensibility [the sensorium]. Only a semblance of neutralization and mutual suspension initially occurs, but the opposed feelings do not lift [cancel] one another permanently. A sad person's tears are dried for only a short time by an amusing play; however, he soon forgets the jests and his tears flow more copiously than before.

128 As plain as this is, this concept has been misunderstood. Some people have objected that the palliative should cure by means of its after-action (which would be the similar to the present disease) just as well as the homeopathic medicine cures by means of its initial action. What must be understood is that the after-action is never an engenderment of the medicine. Rather, it is always an engenderment of the counter-acting life force of the organism. Therefore, when a palliative is administered (with an initial action antagonistic to the disease symptom) the life force's counter-action is a state similar to that of the disease symptom, which was left unexpunged by the palliative. Consequently, the counter-action of the life force amplifies the disease symptom.

129 As in a dark dungeon, where the prisoner could only gradually, with effort, make out nearby objects and suddenly a lamp is lit, all at once consolingly illuminating everything around the unhappy wretch. When the lamp is extinguished, however, the brighter the flame was previously, the blacker is the night which now envelops him, rendering everything about him more invisible than before.