Samuel Hannemann was the ingenious father of homoeopathy; born in 1755 in Meissen, he died in 1843 in Paris.
He himself was a doctor turned patient. He was bitter about the suffering of mankind in connection with the medical art of healing at the time, which he believed was far removed from the true origins of the art. As a responsible father, however, he had to take care of his family and continued to work hard for them. This feat of strength, despite his despair, led him to a new dimension of knowledge about the relationship between disease and healing.
Before the invention of the homoeopathic principle, which he devised by his own effort and grace, Samuel Hahnemann, himself had to go through the eye of the proverbial needle. While he was pursuing the spiritual force of medicine, a tree came to his aid. With the cinchona bark (link) and the self-administration of this substance, he recovered from a major fragility, because his life until then had been a devastating battle against the ignorance of an errant mankind as reflected in the medicine of the time. In his anguish, Hahnemann followed great role models before him.
The era of Samuel Hahnemann
An individual should always be viewed in the context of his times, especially when considering his work as a whole. The epoch (this word comes from the Greek and means “a point in time at which something comes to a halt”) in which something develops influences both the person as a whole and the work that can be derived from him and his activities.
Samuel Hahnemann as a doctor and as someone at the mercy of his era lived in an extraordinary time. It was a time when the fiery magic that had sprung from the roots of alchemy was beginning to fade, a time when material thinking was in its infancy. With the negation of the creative spirit that had formed from the roots of the diminishing religiousness of the Middle Ages, Hahnemann the doctor and pastor nonetheless wanted to know the truth about health and disease in humans. He was between two eras and thus on the threshold, leaving behind the old days whose values were to dissolve and lead to a new and unknown time. In his capacity as a doctor, he was no longer able to commit himself to the familiar ways. His own tireless studies opened a path for him, but he was continually confronted with the old and still concealed knowledge, which he was no longer prepared to accept as his reality.
In his lectures, he continually faced great resistance to his new ideas about the holistic nature of medicine, which was particularly marked by compassion for the sufferer and challenged the conventional methods as inhumane.
When he felt powerless and at the mercy of the old constraints and could not find a sympathetic ear for his teachings of a more humane medicine, Hahnemann even considered freeing himself up entirely. He had the need to liberate himself as a doctor, and the only way he believed was open to him was to entirely abandon his work with the sick. And so he sought to escape the incompetence of his era, which was not yet ready for new ideas, by abandoning his therapeutic work. During this stage of his life, this move constituted a deep loss, as he came to the shattering realisation that he was capitulating.
The inner world of Hahnemann
However, deep inside a very different story emerged. As a doctor, he wanted to be the master of his mind. This is what he had learnt from his father. His free spirit was to guide him and his knowledge and his inspiration that was rooted in compassion was to lead to successful treatment. He sought to experience many things that gave insight into the relationship between disease and health. His compassion for humanity led him to create a more humane medicine and it liberated his thinking as a scientist and doctor, opening up a new world of unlimited opportunities.
The reality of his world in the late eighteenth century was indeed very different. On the one hand there was his own internal development and on the other, the external world, seemingly in shackles, incapable of freeing itself from the circumstances of the time.
Even if the creative individual is in shackles, the force of his spirit is boundless and operates within the inner self, unbridled and indeed unrestricted. And so Hahnemann’s spirit brought about his liberation, even if still invisible from the outside, so that one day his teaching about the dynamic power of healing would appear compelling and captivating to those who seek help.
The task as a sign of humility that heralds a new and brighter era
The acceptance of that which exists in surrender, in Hahnemann’s seemingly personal defeat, was the step across the threshold and into a new era of medicine, where there would a place for the unfathomable, for the spiritual and for the dynamic power of medicine. This unbound power alone had the capacity to reverse disease - this is what Samuel Hahnemann, the father of this spiritual and powerful medicine, foresaw. A reversal in accordance with the laws of the celestial bodies, something that even Paracelsus found fascinating, was able to take place in the healing of the humble individual.
In the external world of his time, Samuel Hahnemann showed acceptance through surrender; however, in the inner world, his spirit was forever searching and resisting the boredom of a dying force of people’s lack of understanding of the interrelationship of all things in a deeply creative world.
Knowledge about a great name in medicine
Now that we understand Samuel Hahnemann and his time, it becomes clear that the existing and hitherto incomplete knowledge was not truly and fundamentally accepted and that he made himself independent through himself and his thirst for truth.
This kind of occurrence within a human being always also has effects on other individuals, and because it is an inner, spiritual happening it does not respect the limits of space and time. And so the individual, in his tireless spiritual striving always reflects a certain eternal value. This makes the occurrence immortal and it is not brought down by the vagaries of time, whose most mighty force is change or death.
The outer and inner gaze of a person looking for the root cause
Hahnemann, in his outer struggle, looked at the world around him and saw that there was much that required betterment. It was precisely his deep thoughts about health and disease, the essence of his work as a doctor, that caught his eye, due to this imperfection it revealed. He felt resentful due to the opposition he faced to his aim of changing the medical profession, and as a last resort he tried to avert his eyes, his sharp and critical eyes, from what he saw and by which he was so painfully touched. But this act, which stemmed from necessity, did not truly harm him.
Turning away, closing his eyes, because he did not see a solution in the outside world, was just one part of the story. Because he was not able to simply switch off his inner eye for the relationships, just to have peace. His inner gaze continued to enquire, fearlessly, and with an inner strength. This power of vision continued unabated, and exploring the cause, the underlying reasons, was so important to him.
Self-determination and freedom of thought
Like all great thinkers who want to act in a self-determined way, because their untethered mind is predestined for it, so Hahnemann, too, had to tread this rocky path alone. On the inside, perseverance and tenacity had to unfold, to allow the virtue of fortitude to propagate in his outer work, even when his soul had long left the earthly plan behind.
The work of a great thinker is characterised by longevity and it is immune to the ravages of time. This immunity, in turn, is a sign of past hardship in a time of grievance abandoned by the light.
The struggling man
In his lectures, Hahnemann maintained his opinion about the negative medicine of the time, and so, in his struggle, he seemed like an unsuccessful eccentric, living a life of poverty, failure and isolation. As a result, his lecturers did not seem able to win over his listeners and gain friends and followers, because the outwardly embittered heart of Hahnemann poured forth a flood of abuse against the old medicine and its followers who had become blind to the truth.
The failure of his lectures, however, did not really prevent him from holding meetings with a small circle of friends.
In this company, with people positively inclined to his ideas, he no longer held back and was able to outline his teachings. In this way, on the threshold of a new era of medical history, a teaching arose, the power of which lay in the root of disease, its ultimate and true underlying cause. And so it came full circle, a circle that started in Ancient Greek culture, where the physician at the same time had to be a priest familiar with religio (to reconnect).
From there, the path led to great thinkers before Hahnemann and then continued into the future.
Man lives unfinished and always remains the son of the father
The human mind lives in a finite earthly realm, in a mortal shell. It lives unfinished in a time and within the confines of the possibilities it strives to realise itself from the inside. If a mind is at the service of mankind, as was Samuel Hahnemann’s, then the force of reason will take it to other shores. His mind, thirsty for truth, will cross the threshold to create a bridge through words. Within this constellation, he heals his heart from all equivocations and from all inabilities to see and understand deep meaning in the resistances and limits of a polar and yet united world.
The virtue of fortitude is like a bright star in his being, which a father, loyal to his son, his heir, through a genetic obligation and as a golden seed, plants into the future soil. Perhaps that was the deeper meaning of reproduction in the Hahnemann family, and not just in that family.
“O, throw away the worser part of it, and live the purer with the other half.
Assume a virtue, if you have it not.
That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat, of habits devil, is angel yet in this: that to the use of actions fair and good he likewise gives a frock or livery...
For use almost can change the stamp of nature, and either rein the devil, or throw him out With wondrous potency...
I must be cruel, only to be kind...”
William Shakespeare, Hamlet III,10
Throughout his life, Samuel Hahnemann, in the name of the father, was torn, shaken and ultimately even rejuvenated and renewed. He walked the way beforehand, before imposing this moving path onto his chosen medicine.
The remedy which he began to select for the sick also had to walk the way of a “torn being”. To be a true cure for the sick, the changing remedy passed through a world not yet truly understood by the human mind, became its own witness and healed him. It healed him of the changing obligation to be unfinished in the world of oppositions.