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Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo

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You have seen Valle's observations about our patient K. My intuitive diagnosis is then correct; only the intuition was distorted by the mind in misjudging the side affected by the lesion.

It was intuition? I thought it was the result of a prosaic examination.

Still I am not sure that her right side is free; but that can be ascertained by X-ray. R had that “vicarious” impression to the last. I actually asked Valle if it was so, he negatived it at once.

Why not pool results and say it was a vicarious monstrosity that produced a lung lesion in the middle-left together with the right apex? Excuse the levity – the temptation of a joke at doctors has always been too much for any lay resistance.

History and symptoms were so obvious.

But what was the history? I asked for it and you have not told me. Mother was informed it had already happened in Gujarat.

It is for such instances. Sir, that my faith in his drug treatment gets shaken.

I don't know. There are several people besides S and G with whom he seemed to me to have a remarkable success.

If a homeopath went by symptoms only, he would perhaps cut off the leaf but I am afraid the roots would flourish as strongly as ever.

That is what A told G, that homeopathy only gives a transient palliation followed quickly by a worse catastrophe. But after all, if it can raise up a man at the last gasp condemned by a unanimity of the whole allopathic faculty almost with the sentence “No more can be done” and send him walking about for a few more days of cheerful life, it is a rather big palliation. Moreover, in some cases I have watched, I have seen R's drug produce not only a rapid, even an instantaneous improvement, but in the end what seems up to now a lasting one and this in cases of illnesses of ancient standing. However that does not cover K's case which looks more like a lung affair (Mother always was apprehensive that she may be a consumptive case) than a vicarious menstruation or monstrous vicariation one. R however says that it is his principle to make a diagnosis and never change it or say anything more about it but just go and prove his case by a cure!! What say you to that, sir? Confidence, if you like! However what bothers me about diagnosis is that if you put 20 doctors on a case, they give 20 different diagnoses (in S's we had three doctors with three quite different theories of the illness) – and such jokes as a doctor shouting “Appendix”, opening up a man, finding illness neither of appendix nor volume nor chapter and cheerfully stitching him are extremely common. So if a layman's respect for allopathic pathology and diagnosis is deficient sometimes and R's sneers at doctors' diagnoses find occasionally an echo, – well, it is not altogether without “rational” cause.

A had mild diarrhoea; his relatives made a great fuss over him by caressing, fondling and surrounding him all the time!

Killed with kindness?

I hear that R has prescribed butter-milk for K. Valle himself prescribed light food.

I hope you don't prescribe “absolute repose”. R wants her to move about, do light sedentary work not involving any pull on the body and, generally, so arrange that she may not think herself seriously invalided. This has always been the Mother's principle in dealing with illness, or she approves that wherever possible.


1935 12 26 Exact Writting Letter Nirodbaran