When I started practicing homeopathy (1978), there was an important group of homeopaths who believed no additions should be made to Kent's Repertory. The idea was that the Repertory contained wisely selected information and that additions could only increase the bias of too much information. One would be tempted to believe that this was Kent's vision as well, as he introduced the third edition of his Repertory as follows: "You will find all remedies of any value contained herein. The book is complete." But a conversation has been reported, shortly before his death, where he contradicted his wife who was making the same statement. He confessed to Dr. Frederika Gladwin that "his job was almost done. If it had to continue, his students had to take care of it."
Today there seems to be little doubt as to the necessity of additions. But another problem is emerging: an increasing number of homeopaths are questioning the reliability of those colleagues who suddenly report hundreds if not thousands of additions based on their clinical experience. I believe we should take a resolute stand and treat each other's "fever for additions". Moreover, we should balance it with "fastidiousness about correct additions".
I. THE SOURCES
1. Current Additions
From which sources have the additions previously been made? You will find the additions from the Repertories that are primarily used today: Boger's version of Boenninghausen Repertory, Oscar Boericke's Repertory, Phatak's Repertory, etc.
Information from different Materia Medica books has been integrated, especially from the classical authors such as:
- Hahnemann: surprisingly, many of Hahnemann's symptoms seem not to have been integrated into Kent's Repertory
- Kent's Materia Medica (fully integrated on the basis of Dr. Linda Johnston's tremendous work (Los Angeles, USA)
- Hering's Encyclopedia (this source was preferred over copying from the secondary source, Knerr's Repertory, which contains the same material)
- Allen's Encyclopedia (the original book, not the index, which contains many mistakes and omissions as we found with key-word searches using RADAR. Whenever possible we have indicated if the information came from Allen's full text or from the Index to his Encyclopedia)
- Roberts "Sensations as if". Although some consider it as a Repertory, it is a full text structured line by line. It takes much time to transcribe it to a correct repertory structure, but the book is being integrated into Kent's Repertory.
- Other Materia Medicas have been integrated, although most of them partially, due to the amount of work involved. Worth mentioning: Clarke's Dictionary, William Boericke's Materia Medica, Phatak's Materia Medica, Borland's books, Tyler's Drug Pictures, etc.
Special thanks at this level goes the European homeopaths collaborating under the coordination of Thomas Lowes (Munich, Germany) and to the American homeopaths collaborating with Dean Crothers (Seattle, USA). Many other homeopaths have done great jobs on particular remedies taken from different sources, or from research according to their interest. In Synthesis 5, for example, you will find much more complete pictures of the nosodes: additions from Henry Allen's Nosodes, reviews of carcinosinum, psorinum, different strains of tuberculinum and medorrhinum.
An important number of clinical observations from different "living" authorities has been added. The largest number of additions in this category is derived from George Vithoulkas, who was so kind as to write the foreword of this Repertory. We have taken great care to make sure that Synthesis is the best reflection of his clinical experience, which is probably the largest in homeopathy to date. George Vithoulkas has gathered a great number of homeopaths in a Clinical Centre in Athens. All consultations are supervised by more experienced homeopaths or by him. Today 34 medical doctors are working in the Centre and Vithoulkas estimates to have seen more than 150,000 cases. Vithoulkas himself has not published his additions, and the best source so far is Dr. Bill Gray's booklet of notes taken during his stay in Athens (1979).
For the first time, George Vithoulkas himself has been writing down his additions for the chapter MIND, and these are now integrated in Synthesis. The chapter MIND has now more than 1600 controlled additions from his hand. Many of these additions have been confirmed by other authors. On his instructions, more additions to other chapters have been added in successive versions of Synthesis. In this version we have also included his indications on changes of degrees (most often a higher degree). When a remedy has a higher (lower) degree according to Vithoulkas, it is followed by a sign: "merc.3vh" means that for this rubric, "merc." should be in the third degree instead of the second degree. There are more than 1,000 such instances and one is free to follow this advice or not.
2. Future Additions
It is misleading to call any Repertory complete. More work will always be needed to further improve the quality and increase the content of Synthesis and it is certain that this job will never be completely finished. So, as a consequence, all current collaborators and, in fact, anyone is invited to go on with this collaboration. The most productive contributions are made when everyone does what interests him or her: the remedy he needs, the author she likes, etc.
Nevertheless a few suggestions:
- If you plan to undertake a big job, check to see that the work has not been done or started already by someone else.
- In any event it is beneficial to check again encoded additions, as we have done for some earlier additions.
- The priority set by most of our collaborators is to encode all information of the so-called classical authors (Hahnemann, Kent, Allen, Hering, Clarke and Boericke).
- We should continue to give priority to the most reliable information. Written sources and confirmation of existing material will remain the best choice for a long time. It is more valuable to have a confirmation by someone not belonging to the same school as the one whose information is to be confirmed.
- the most reliable symptoms are found when you use the source in the original language.