Among the technicalities of Homœopathy is the phrase “Totality of the symptoms.” There is nothing mysterious or sacred about the phrase, but Hahnemann rightly said that this “totality,” -that is, the sum total of the sensations and observable changes in the organism- constitutes the concrete problem in every case with which we have to deal, no matter what name the academicals may give to it.
Disease, we must never forget, is, in Hahnemann’s conception, an INVISIBLE thing. It is a derangement of the INVISIBLE VITAL FORCE. To use a modern simile, the symptoms constitute a moving picture like the figures on the screen of a cinema. The visible and tangible part of the human body is the screen ; the appearances and sensations of the diseased vital force are the “symptoms” and are analogous to the moving figures ; but the operators producing the appearances are hidden from the audience. All the same, it is by looking on the screen that you can read the story of the changes in the invisible life-force in a way you could not do by going behind the screen. “Hence the totality of the symptoms” constitutes the disease as our senses apprehend it. The academic name we give to it is a secondary matter. As Hahnemann once said to a patient who asked him what his disease was, and what he was going to give him, -“The name of your disease is no concern of mine, and the name of the medicine I give is no concern of yours.” The totality of the signs, pains and sensations is for practical purposes the concrete problem, and the less we trouble about the film and the light, the more clearly shall we be able to follow the story and discern our actual task.
Ref: The Prescriber