Geo. E. Dienst, M.D., Aurora, III.
The spirit of man – what is it? It is that attribute of the soul which distinguishes one man from another. It is the abode of his desires and aversions, his loves and his hates, and these, rather than his shape, his color and his weight, distinguish one man from another. No matter how nearly alike men may be physically, there is a difference in spirit, no matter how slight, and this difference more than another distinguishes Mr. Brown from Mr. Jones. In all avenues of life the distinguishing feature in man is the spirit which is in man. Men may be similar in spirit but not alike, and we judge them by this similarity or dissimilarity. Briefly, this is the manner in which we individualize – know individuals – differentiate one individual from another. This study is as limitless as the human family.
In that other great study – that inexhaustible study of the Homoeopathic Materia Medica, we have a problem similar in scope to the study of man. It is not the material, the weight, the color, the size, the taste of the drug – so much as the spirit, which is in the drug. For every drug of therapeutic value has its individual desires and aversions, its loves and its hates, and these attributes of the drug distinguish one from another, and though many may be similar there are no two exactly alike. There is no clear understanding of anthropology which does not emphasize the study of the spirit of man, nor can there be a clear understanding of the Homoeopathic Materia Medica which does not emphasize the study of the spirit of the drug; furthermore, there can be no intelligent application of the law of similars in practice which does not include the fitting of a remedy in its desires, aversions, loves and hate in man. This truth must be emphasized with all the power and clearness we possess. Desires and aversions, love and hate precede pathology and accompany all forms of miasmatic disturbances.
Many families with their blood relatives are known by their peculiar desires and aversions. We often speak of them as possessing some peculiar psychological characteristics. This is also true of drug families, as we shall see in a moment. To make this matter clear let us take for our study the Calcarea group. Of those which have been quite clearly proven we have Calc. Arsenica, Calc. Carb., Calc. Caustica, Calc. Fluorata, Calc. Hypophosporosa, Calc. Iod., and Calcarea Sulphurica. The parent of this family seems to be Calcarea Carb., and what is said of the parent can be said in part of all the children.
You will observe by a careful study of this family, that the spirit of indolence, indifference and indecision predominates in each member of the family. They appear to be strong; some are inclined to an excess of adipose tissue or alder manic proportions; some of the youth, especially the girls, have rosy cheeks, but they are indolent and seem to accomplish so little as days go by. They tire easily, the slightest physical or mental exertion tires them and seems to bring on symptoms, which in certain members cause weeping or pouting, and these are followed by indigestion, torpidity of the bowels and loss of appetite.
To be specific CALCAREA ARSENICA suffers much mental depression and anxiety. No matter what the symptoms may be he grows despondent, is anxious about himself and his business, and if temperature arises he grows delirious very easily, even with a moderate temperature. He is also emotional, and the slightest emotion causes palpitation of the heart. As he grows older you will observe that every fourth beat of the pulse omits with scrupulous regularity. He is easily chilled. The slightest emotion or prolonged physical or mental exertion causes creeping chills over the back towards the arms and chest. He must keep himself well protected with warm clothing, or he will chill, take cold and drift into asthmatic conditions. He does not make friends easily, neither is he inclined to be friendly except when he feels good, which is not often, for he is dreadfully afraid of sickness and inuries. His appetite is always below par. His desire are not marked but has an aversion to almost all things with a fear that they will cause pain. He has a great thirst and drinks much water, but this causes pain in the abdomen and diarrhoea. He is easily led it drunkenness, but liquors, especially beer and ale, keep him in a state of diarrhoea. He is never satisfied with one stein. He is either full of scrofula or rapidly drifting into a tubercular condition.
CALCAREA CARB – Dating from its proving, it is the grandfather of all the Calcareas, – a decrepit old grandfather, with a family, most of whom are so indolent that he must support them, when they should provide for themselves. They are predisposed to tissue changes, various forms of skin eruptions, morbid growths, with physical and mental exhaustion. Notice, please, that the mental or physical states are present, are inherent, can be seen and studied before tissue changes and morbid pathology are observable.
Listen! Away back in the early days of infancy certain psychical states – not a condition – but an inherent state is present and should be studied. By a careful analysis of this state you may be able to foresee impending pathology organic and morbid tissue changes. In the babe there is sadness, unhappiness, and when admonished they cry, whimper and begin to show evidences of fear, are peevish, easily irritated and grow hateful. As they grow older you will observe that the child is easily frightened; shows evidences of cowardice, becomes apathetic, obstinate, and in school grows listless, forgetful, fails to comprehend even the simplest lessons, particularly those requiring analysis or reasoning. Hence always poor in mathematics, for the reason that they can not think coherently. When urged to study, or reprimanded for slowness of thought, they grow irritable, obstinate, cry, get sick and must be excused. Calcarea Carb. Finds it painful to think, to reason, or concentrate the mind on problems demanding accurate reasoning. Unless this difficulty is corrected in childhood they grow into manhood and womanhood in a mentally passive state. What they learn is by absorption rather than by study or close application of mind. They are not among our leaders, our thinkers, our scholars, nor do they develop into professional experts, rarely become inventors, authors or statesmen. There is a want of comprehension, faulty of inaccurate exercise of volitionary powers, hence have difficulty in choosing between right and wrong, truth and error. They are not independent thinkers, they must be led, and so fall into this or that routine of thought or action according to the force of leadership in control. This continues with increasing danger until they have the delusion that they are growing insane or that people think them insane, they see visions on closing their eyes, every emotion brings physical suffering, and when sick with febrile complications have strange delirium. They respond slowly to mental and physical aid and as time goes on grow into various forms of mania, tissue or organic changes. When you see these psychical phenomena so briefly given here, then you can foresee lymphatic disturbances; enlarged abdomen, acidity, anaemias, depraved appetite, diseases of the bone, pulmonary and respiratory diseases, dropsy, digestive disturbances, diseases of the eyes, brain, skin, teeth, pelvic organs, genitalia and kindred disturbances which are curable if treated in early year.
CALCAREA CAUSTICA – Here again we encounter the fact of “thought very difficult.” What would seem an easy problem or lesson to a normal child, becomes very difficult to the one in need of Calc. Caustica. The teacher observes this and attributes the very slow comprehension of the child to listlessness, laziness and reprimands the child, who is urged to greater diligence in study, but just as soon as this child exerts itself in study it becomes confused, can not arrange its thoughts, misspells easy words, will say New York when it means Chicago, and the next phenomenon is vertigo, things turn in a circle, there is nausea, pallor and the little fellow must be excused and taken to the open air. This child is always worse in the evening from mental and physical exertion, from excessive use of lime-water in the food in bottle-fed children. When you observe this spirit in the child you can already prognosticate pains of almost every character later in life; in the head, back, feet, HEELS, spleen, nape (stiff neck), faulty digestion, faulty elimination, etc. Instead of punishing this child for his slowness in learning, confusion of thought and physical languor it would be infinitely better to give him a dose of the similimum, which, in this instance, is Calcarea Caustica.
CALCAREA FLUORICA – In spite or Dr. Schissler’s theory regarding this “bone-salt” and some of the wonderful cures of bony growth reported in our journals, we must look deeper than morbid pathology for a true picture of this remedy. Long before exostosis, fistula, “frog-face,” indurated glands, flatulency, and kindred ailment, are found where this remedy may be useful, you will discover, upon careful analysis, a psychical phenomenon, peculiar to the Calcareas though somewhat different form other members of the family. Here is marked indcision. The child seems to have lost, or is suffering keenly from want of the powers of volition. The business man is facing a business proposition demanding positive decision, and he is unable to give it. It is not a matter of ignorance or a want of courage, but he is overcome with fear, causing intense anxiety which has incapacitated him for instant, positive and accurate decision. This member of the family is not concerned so much about himself or his family’s physical condition but is disturbed about his business. Though his granaries may be full, his bank account in excellent condition he is fretting about “over the hill to the poorhouse.” Don’t be surprised if by improverishing his vitality by undue anxiety you find swollen or ulcerated glands exostoses, easy dislocations, catarrhal affections, digestive disturbances and a fit subject for a change of climate. He is indeed possessed with the spirit of pessimism. The brevity of this paper demands that we omit the hypophosphite, the Iodide and Muriate, all of which need more extensive proving, but in which you will find that mental dulness, that indolence and indifference peculiar to the lime-salts.
CALCAREA PHOSPHORICA – Here we have a member of the Calcareas which is mentally weak. It is not only incapable of connected thought, or analytical study, but he is so weak mentally that he forgets the simplest things he reads. Or the simplest lessons taught. Let him read one paragraph and then ask him to repeat it from memory and you will find him confused, forgetting the essential points, or gives an incoherent or disconnected account of what he has read. He is not a good story teller, rarely engages in mirth that demands repartee and when put to the task of study or when called upon for an account of what he has read or heard he is taken with a headache or fails in his examination. You never find them among the brilliant men and women of the schools or college, and during a class examination they “go all to pieces.” Poor things! They are to be pitied rather than punished for their mental and moral shortcomings, for many of them are as weak morally as they are mentally. No wonder we find as they grow to manhood and womanhood such diseases as anaemia, weak ankles, weak back, brain-fag, chorea, pulmonary tuberculosis, arthritic difficulties, glandular swellings, difficult dentition, etc.
CALCAREA SULPHURICA – This salt, commonly known as “connective tissue salt,” has much the same spirit as the preceding, but differs in this, that it is much more sensitive to physical pain than its predecessors, though all have this sensitiveness. Though it chills to some extent as the other members of the family, it is relieved of its sufferings in the open air. The most peculiar feature is aggravation of practically all its ailments in damp weather. It is more psychotic than its relatives, hence this frequency of pus, and its great value in diseases “after pus has found a vent.” In this member of the family we encounter abscesses, boils, buboes, carbuncles, glandular swellings, gonorrhoea, hemorrhages, polyp, tumors, etc.
This is but an outline of the research study of this family of remedies. The lesson to be learned is this: When we see this spirit in the child particularly, and understand the results which will surely follow, let us not forget the material provided for the correction of these ills and the prevention of the catastrophe which is sure to come with years. Indolence may be converted into thrift; fear into courage, and incipient aberration of the mind into logical thinking.