Quality AND Quantity

Each new edition of Synthesis is utilized in hundreds of thousands of cases worldwide. This process is an essential component of the continued evolution and reliability of this unique repertorial database.

When repertory additions are made too quickly, the expanded rubrics can bring out differences that ultimately lead to confusion in many cases. Hastily introduced new information might be incorrect or irrelevant.

In other repertories, new rubrics are often positioned illogically. A careful stepwise increase in information is the only means to avoid chaos.

At each step of Synthesis, the quantity has been increased, but because our primary focus has been on increasing the quality, we have been able to keep the reliability and integrity of this Repertory at a very high level. In the development of Synthesis, quality has always been the primary concern.

Kent's repertory has been the main reference for almost a century for a number of reasons. One of them was its quality. The belief that the information it contained was reliable. Additions were considered with reluctance, and more than a few homeopaths argued that the best repertory is a virginal, untouched Kent, with no additions at all.

"Kent had a reason not to add that remedy" was the often-quoted phrase. It was as if Kent had used some magic knowledge so that he added certain remedies (and not others) to the rubrics.

Barthel and Klunker (1973), and later Kunzli (1987), created the first repertories with many additions, which gained more and more acceptance. Then the computerized repertories appeared, making it even easier to add new information (Synthesis in 1987).

Since the 1980s, the tide has consequently changed; more and more homeopaths have become interested in quantity. The most often heard phrase became "why don't you have this addition yet?"

So, the challenge in developing a repertory has become how to position oneself correctly on a continuous line, ranging between the extremes of abundant quantity and utterly conservative quality. The interesting fact is that all opinions, from one extreme to the other, are supported by at least some homeopaths, somewhere.

The implication of this variety of opinion is that apparently no repertory can satisfy everybody's wishes. What one person considers as too many additions, is not enough for the other. The effort towards quality, which satisfies one homeopath, lets the repertory evolve too slowly for another.

Still another group wants all information with the maximum quality reassurance - Now. However, anyone who has painstakingly checked information in the original Materia Medica, or added a new proving to the Repertory, knows that while additions may go quickly, checking the quality of the information and the way it is inserted takes a tremendous amount of time. To pretend the opposite reveals a lack of experience or an excess of bravura.

This diversity of orientation within the homeopathic community has led to the varied response to successive versions of Synthesis. Many homeopaths have been happy with the editing and additions that have been done. Some wanted to see many more additions, others wanted all information to be checked thoroughly before going ahead. Still others believed they needed to return to Kent's Repertory, considering it the only reliable source.

The Synthesis project at this point has made numerous corrections to Kent's Repertory. A preference for Kent's Repertory (last edition 1957!), can only be founded upon a lack of awareness of the mistakes that exist in Kent's original work.

Contrasting this stance with the push to quickly include many additions quickly, has created fertile ground for a revolutionary new concept.