|The Organon was the
masterwork in which Samuel Hahnemann laid out both the
theoretical framework and practical application of
homeopathy. Hahnemann is the only person in history to
discover and fully develop a unique system of medicine in
a single lifetime. He was such a visionary genius that
the system he developed is still in use today, adapted
somewhat to the changing conditions of modern life but
still adhering to the same fundamental principles that
Hahnemann laid down in the Organon.
Hahnemann lived a long and productive life (1755 to 1843), during which time he constantly sought to improve and perfect his system of healing. Thus the Organon went through six editions, five of which were published in his lifetime. The 6th edition was at the publisher when he died and was unknown for nearly 100 years. In this edition Hahnemann described what he called his "most perfect method", the LM potencies.
The original manuscript of the 6th edition was discovered, edited and published in the 1920s but never received much attention from the worldwide homeopathic community. However, a new edition with a much-improved translation has focused new attention on Hahnemann's revised method. This edition is translated by Stephen Decker and edited by Wenda Brewster O'Reilly. Decker and O'Reilly have made Hahnemann's early-19th-century German much more accessible to the modern reader, and O'Reilly has added extensive notes which make the Organon even more understandable. However, reading the Organon is still a challenge and is recommended only for those already somewhat familiar with homeopathy.
For an excellent description of Hahnemann's life and times, including his process of revising the Organon, please see Rima Handley's A Homeopathic Love Story and In Search of the Later Hahnemann. These books are enjoyable for laypeople and factual enough for the professional. It might be helpful to read them first before tackling the Organon itself. All three books are available from Homeopathic Educational Services and Minimum Price Books.