Раздел II


Archimandrite Rafail (Karelin), I. Shapovalova


The beginning of science is observation, of philosophy is wonder, and of religion is veneration.

Science including medicine starts from an experiment, its basis is collecting facts and discovering connections between them. Yet researchers usually do not stop at the fact-finding stage but try to comprehend and systematize the material collected by science. From experiencing, the researcher passes on to the first level of abstraction — a working hypothesis.

A hypothesis is a surmise and it exists as a plausible guess until it comes in useful. But since more and more new facts appear, the hypothesis finally ends in failure and ceases working.

Any hypothesis needs continual corrections and supplements, but then some critical moment comes: the hypothesis has to be changed by a more contemporary one. Therefore a hypothesis, as an abstraction, falls into a category of «scientific ephemeras».

Man is not satisfied by the practical applications of science, as they are a sequence to phenomena. His inquisitive mind wants to find the cause of a phenomenon, so he abstracts his mind from the hypothesis and creates a theory, — a certain mental field, which defies real testing. There are three crossing lines here: scientific ideas based on some hypothesis, philosophy as aspiration to find general laws by means of logical conclusions, and a person’s world outlook connected with religion and confession or with the atheistic ideology. So one ought to distinguish the science as fact-finding from the science as theory. In the latter case, to put it more precisely, science is a number of theoretical systems opposing one another quite often. Scientists of different epochs and nations, including even those of one time, accounted for the same facts differently. If we get acquainted with works of medieval physicians and chemists and look upon the subjects with their eyes, we can consider the medicine and chemistry as occult sciences. If we read works of Chinese classical physicians, we can find their outlook dualistic, because everything is represented as the interaction of two elements: yin and yang. Meanwhile, Chinese-Tibetan medicine accumulated a good deal of empirical material, which can be used (and it is used) by modern medicine. Indian medicine (with universal prana teaching) might look like philosophical monism, whereas medieval medicine with its terminology looks like hermetism or helosoism. Even in new times some naturalists (for example, famous Goethe) thought that ghosts — demons inhabited the earth and assisted every process. So one ought to separate scientific human knowledge and previous natural life experience from unreliable theorization, the mixture of science and philosophy from the worldview. More examples are listed below. Einstein, the first-rate physicist of 20-th century, was a pantheist, but we cannot conclude from this that physics is a pantheistic system that denies Christianity. The outstanding physicist Curie was a materialist, but it does not mean that physics is an atheistic godlessness and Christians ought to avoid it.

The authors of the pamphlet «Religious and Medical Aspects of Homeopathy», which was published in WWW, made a similar logical mistake, they confused homeopathy with theoretical abstractions of Hahnemann, Kent and others, but that is not shared by all homeopaths. There is no proof of connection of these abstractions with homeopathy as a curing system. Besides, there is no consensus of the opinions, but only a priori statements of the authors.

Meanwhile, homeopathy is an experimental science, and its laboratory is the human organism itself. Hahnemann, as well as other experimentalists, tested drugs on himself, he did not derive them from some theoretical footings. Therefore, the statements of some homeopaths (including Hahnemann’s) being of philosophical interpretation nature are related to the worldview of their authors and their epoch concept, but not to the clinical results of medical care. These theorizations are of private and personal nature.

There are some contradictory theories (at least 10 ones) in modern cosmogony, yet none of them can be considered as proved or suitable to mathematical analysis precisely. But because of that we cannot reject astronomy as a science. Famous Heisenberg, quantum mechanics founder, was close to Plato in his worldview, and was delighted by Plato’s theory of atoms structure, his viewing them as polyhedrons. But because of that we cannot conclude that quantum mechanics is Platonism rejected by Church on the councils against John Itall and his following. A certain cosmonaut declares he is a Roerich’s continuator and makes a noise in press, no less than that on the cosmodrome during a rocket launch; but what bearing it has to the spacecraft manufacture?

So Hahnemann and some outstanding homeopaths wanted to account for the action of homeopathic preparations on the human organism, and they were guided by their a priori ideas, whereas most of homeopaths, we’d like to say the overwhelming majority of them, considered homeopathy as empiricism like phytotherapy or chemotherapy. In general, medicine as well as other applied sciences can answer such questions as «what» and «how», but a mysterious «why» remains (forever, probably) in the area of suppositions and guesses. Hahnemann used the terms and ideas of the preceding medicine, where such words as «emanation», «ethereal bodies», etc. were common notions in the lexicon of European physicians of various specializations — things inherited mostly from medieval alchemists and hermeneutists. In that case all medicine ought to be stylized as an imitation of occultism. Ancient Greek and Roman physicians had considerable empirical material collected, and yet they sent their patients to Aesculapius’ temples. The priests of those temples had great knowledge in medicine and a pagan creed, but because of this fact we cannot draw together pharmacology and idolatry.

It must be said that the notions of ether as a special element, and of ethereal bodies as an intangible substance, were widespread in science up to the half of 19-th century. Some theologians wishing to stress soul immateriality compared souls with ethereal bodies. Nowadays, these terms are out of usage in scientific works and may be found in occultist’s books.

European medicine has borrowed a lot from the native people of European colonies, who are well acquainted with the characteristics of the local flora. The scientists have been interested in sets of remedies and methods of treatment used by the local people rather than in their believes in sickness materialization into snakes and pangolins and curing only through forcing them out by shaman’s tampering.

Paracelsus, the father of modern chemotherapy, gave an occult world model in his theoretical works. But it does not mean that we ought to state that a doctor from our polyclinic, prescribing mainly chemical medicines, is a magic follower. Famous Russian physicist Tsiolkovsky, the creator of the first spacecraft projects, considered space from the point of view of either theosophy or spiritism. However, modern science borrowed his ideas of making spacecraft, but not his demonology images of space. But the main confirmation of homeopathy as clear empiricism and its rehabilitation are based on the attitude of distinguished Orthodoxy persons towards homeopathy. Among them we can mention such outstanding personalities as Khomyakov, who treated his peasants with homeopathic remedies; Pirogov, who always had a set of homeopathic remedies on him during his trips; St. Ioann of Kronstadt, who consecrated the first homeopathic clinic in St-Petersberg and was the honorary fellow of Homeopathic Society; Theophan Zatvornik, who used homeopathic remedies successfully (it is significant that in one of his private letters he rejected any connection between homeopathy and mesmerism); Saint bishop Ignaty Brianchaninov, who gave homeopathic remedies to his patients. Saint martyr Tsar Nicholas II patronized homeopathy. Such Georgian patriarchs as Kallistrat and Ephrem used homeopathic remedies as well.

I’ll tell one story. In the 1950s it was very difficult to get clerical literature, and some lady, closely connected with the supreme hierarchy of Russian Church, took an occasion, — a patriarch Alexis I arrival to Georgia — and asked him to send her a book by Ignaty Brianchaninov through some familiar persons. I don’t know exactly how and whom this request was delivered to, but some time passed and she got a package, where the homeopathic medicine «Ignatia» was found.

There were two homeopaths among the people close to St. Blessed Matrona. She also had a favorable attitude towards some homeopath with a shady reputation from the view of Christianity. And she sent her spiritual daughter to him for homeopathic remedies. This fact is mentioned in detail in the memoirs of Blessed Matrona, written by the witnesses of her life.

If homeopathy had been really bounded up with occultism and demonism, the Saint ascetics would have felt spiritual danger of such curing and, with the help of God’s Grace, would have felt spiritual stink of such medicine, as of everything either connecting with or concerning the devil. St. Ioann of Kronstadt cast out demons; was it possible for the devil to deceive him with homeopathy? St. Ignaty Brianchaninov teached in his books how to distinguish various actions of spirits (light and dark) on the human soul; was it possible for him not to recognize the demon’s acting, but to assist the demon unintentionally by approving homeopathic remedies? I think there is enough authority of the Saints mentioned here to settle the question. Our time has not given a second Ioann of Kronstadt, yet generated a great number of pygmies, who have neither spiritual experience nor knowledge of Holy Fathers’ works but who self-confidently reject the things they do not understand.

Назад| Оглавление | Далее