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Kent’s Life and Works

Dr. K. Banerjee

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From Within to Without
Kent is responsible for saving much of the original wisdom of homoeopathy at a time when it was in great danger of being destroyed by the eclectics and pseudo-homoeopaths. He continued to teach the vitalists philosophy that all of life flows from the innermost center of the creation to the circumference of the universe, from the first creative impulse to the last thing created, and from those things prior to those things present. This creative hierarchy is reflected in the very make up of the human spirit, vital force, and physical organism. This creative energy finds its essence in the free will of the spirit, its nature in the presence of the vital force, and its activity in the human body. This trinity of forces reflects in the macrocosm of the universal order in the microcosm of a human being.

“Thus from the innermost, the will and voluntary principle, through the limbus or simple substance to the outermost, the actual or material substance of man which is in every cell, we have this order of direction.”

Kent’s approach to case taking was based on Hahnemann’s teachings and the theory that the centre rules circumference. He offered the following schematic as an example of “those things that come first”.

“Some understand homoeopathy as a science presenting human sickness in forms to be perceived:
  • From centre to circumference,
  • From head to foot,
  • From within outwards,
  • From highest to lowest,
  • From the vital centers to the periphery.

This may be said to be the vertex presentation whereby one thinks from things first to last, perceiving the loves and the hates as the first and deepest of any sickness in man.”

“In the healthy human state, the spirit-like life force (autocracy) that enlivens the material organism as dynamis, governs without restriction and keeps all parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious vital operations, as regards both feeling and functions, so that our indwelling , rational spirit can freely avail itself of this living, healthy instrument for the higher purposes of our existence.”

In Search of the Vital Force
The ancient Greek naturalist proposed a universal life force as the basis of all phenomena. They called this igneous etheric energy the pneuma and suggested that this energy was at the very center of our universe as well as well as the human heart. The four material manifestation that appear as solids, liquids, gases, and radiant plasma were seen as aspects of the four elements earth, water, air and fire. The ancient’s taught that the qualities of love (attraction) and hate (aversion) were the powers that bound the four elements together in different combinations. In the Swedenborgian philosophy the role of the universal pnuema is played by the immaterial simple substance.

Kent based his view of the life force on the properties of the Swedenborgian simple substance which was perceived as the basis of the mineral, animal and human kingdoms. This universal life force is at the root of doctrine of correspondences which teaches that every thing that appears as outward and visible has an inward spiritual cause. As a further extension of this non dual vision we have the theorem that what manifest as the other world is truly a reflection of what is going on in the minds of those that inhabit this universe. Thoughts such as this form a very deep metaphysical basis for the Kentian approach to homoeopathy.

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