Jan Scholten

Law of similars
The law of similars is the first law in homeopathy, both in principle and historically. Samuel Hahnemann discovered this law by trying out quinine on himself. It produced fever in attacks, once every three days. This is typical for malaria, for which quinine is one of the first remedies. The law of similar is the base for the name 'homeopathy", which means the same, homeo, as the disease, pathos.

In first instance it is strange that a substance which produces a certain kind of disease, will cure that same disease. It sounds like a paradox. One would expect that such a substance would aggravate the disease. There seems to be a dual aspect to substances, toxic and curative. They are similar but opposite.
This curative effect is difficult to explain in a materialistic world view. That would lead to aggravation of the disease. But when one looks at it form the information point of view the curative quality becomes understandable. The remedy cures the disease by giving information to the living organism what is going wrong, what is disordered, what is out of balance. The living organism can use this information, understand what went wrong and bring things in balance gain. The self healing power of living organisms is working normally again.
In this view healing is always the normal situation, like the natural healing of wounds. Disease then is a blockage, a misbalance which hinders the self healing power. The right information shows where the imbalance is and the living organism will restore the situation. For this explanation to make sense the living organism must be an actor, conscious of what is going on and able to repair imbalances. Living organisms cannot be machines only. For medicine this view might seem strange. But looking to normal life, this is what people do and experience. When something goes wrong people try to find out what is the cause, where it went wrong and if they find out what it is they will correct it. There is a strange dichotomy in our cultural views, that at one hand we see ourselves as conscious actors in normal life, but at the other hand as will-less victims and machines in disease.

Centralising versus dispersing
In a more general view of medicine one can discern 2 forms in it. At the one hand there is the drive to go away from the problem, to get rid of the symptoms, to abort the disease, to fight the cancer, to kill the bacteria. One could call it a dispersing treatment. At the other hand there is the attitude to go to the problem, into the problem, in order to experience it the fullest. This can be called a centralizing treatment or a paradoxical treatment. It is clear that homeopathy is, in principle, a centralizing treatment. It does the same as existence, goes to the problem. In regular medicine one uses in general a dispersing treatment, one tries to fight the symptoms and invading negative forces. This is obvious from the terms used for the medications: antihypertensives, antibiotics, antidiabetics, analgetics, antiphlogistica, and one can make the list very long.
The centralizing treatment, expressed in the law of similars, is not limited to homeopathy. In psychotherapy many techniques do the same, trying to go to the problem instead of away from it. A classical example is that of "flooding" in behavioral therapy. Victor Frankl has discovered his “logotherapy“, a technique known as paradoxical intention. Milton Erickson has developed the paradoxical therapy to a high level and NLP was grounded to a large part on his techniques. Haley has even stated that all effects in psychotherapy are coming from its paradoxical part: “The therapeutic change is produced by therapeutic paradoxes that the various psychotherapeutic methods have in common”.

Pharmacology is pathology
A remedy can produce and cure the same disease, the same unhealthy state. The description of what a remedy can produce and cure is therefore the same. One could say the disease is the same as the remedy. This leads to the merging of the pathology book with that of the pharmacology book. They have become inseparable in homeopathy. This dual book is called Materia medica.
From the point of view of regular medicine this merging is trance, as there is pathology and pharmacology, two different fields in medicine. From the point of view of science, the merging of pathology and pharmacology is an advantage, as every unification of different fields is seen as a more encompassing general theory.