I’ve always been fascinated in the work of Dr. Gruner, who had been an early pupil of Inayat Khan in the 1920s. He transcribed many of the lectures, including those that were assembled to form the content of In An Eastern Rose Garden, a particularly wonderful compilation. His accuracy was no doubt very valuable in the days of dreamy sincere but impressionable mureeds with stenographic training, or without. At any rate, it could be that the talks Gruner transcribed were the more true to the intention. However, if “editors” got at them to “fix” phrases etc. then much of the rhythm would be lost.
This work with Inayat Khan indicates his interest in mysticism and its relationship to medicine, and in the power of breath and the elements. He then went on to a master work – the translation of Avicenna’s Treatise on Medicine.
A little about Avicenna, and this translation, that I picked up on the web:
At first the West came to know about Al-Qanun through its Latin translation by Gerard of Cremona as early as the twelfth century A.D. But according to Prof. E.G. Browne “The Latin Qanun Swarms with barbarous words” and thus is “almost unintelligible”. Some other translations, whether whole or in part, also exist in different Western and eastern languages, However, in English only two translations of its first volume have been available. One of them was prepared by Dr. O.C. Gruner of London (1930) and the other is by Col. M.H. Shah of Karachi (1964). Dr. Gruner’s translation is based on the distorted Latin version (1595 and 1608) while Col. Shah has based his translation on the Urdu version of Ghulam Husain Kanturi. Thus there was no complete English translation of Al-Qanun directly done from its Arabic text.
Al-Qanun fi al-Tibb by the Ibn Sina (980-1037 A.D.) is a million word encyclopedic work on Arab medicine that used to be taught in many Western Universities till the 18th century., has now been published by Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, India. The volumes of Arabic text have also been carefully and critically edited with the help of its oldest published and unpublished copies specially the rarest extant manuscript of Aya Sofia (Istanbul) transcribed in 618 A.H. The complete set of these volumes can be had from Jamia Hamdard.
I believe that with the help of his sufi training, Gruner was able to get to the heart of the meaning of the text even working with a muddled Latin translation from the Arabic. His mystical inspiration or vision would complement the confusion that would naturally arise. And as a trained physician, his understanding of the human body would also fill in any mistranslations.
After this publication in 1930, Gruner went on to McGill in Montreal and his main contribution to medical science. Although his translation of this fundamental text (part one at any rate) was published, part 2 remains in the library at McGill in manuscript form only. Gruner began to apply his inspiration to cancer research and pioneering a radical approach based on blood tests to reveal the presence of cancer. O.C. Gruner, is mainly known now as a former pathologist to the Royal Victoria Hospital and research fellow at McGill University in Montreal.
Here he became connected with the well-known Royal Rife, whose science was called para-science by some, suppressed by others, and simply ignored by the majority of the scientific community. However, Gruner may have been one of the few legitimate researchers to apply scientific methods to Rife’s theories.
Some of his work is described here:
The Rife Universal Microscope was the answer to a prayer for bacteriologist Arthur Kendall. His own research had convinced him that Antoine Bechamp had been correct. Bechamp believed that the chemical environment in which a microorganism lives determines the form it takes. Kendall and other biologists had cultured up to 16 distinct organisms from a single source by using different culture media. Rife’s microscope allowed Kendall to see the living organisms change. In turn, the K culture medium developed by Kendall, led to the discovery of the Bx cancer virus that Rife had hypothesized existed years before. At that time, “virus” referred to any filterable organism too small to be seen with a regular microscope. Rife and Kendall followed Koch’s postulates. They isolated the virus from a diseased patient, cultured the organism, caused cancer in lab animals using the culture, and recovered the same organism from the sick animal. Later, Dr. O.C. Gruner of Canada’s McGill University identified a fungus in people with cancer. He and Rife discovered that when the Bx virus was cultured on Gruner’s asparagus agar, it became his fungus. When they cultured the fungus on Kendall’s medium, it became the Bx virus. (Source link)
More on his cancer research can be found here. More on the blood tests can be found here.
It seems clear to me that Dr. Gruner had been inspired to apply the principles of the medicine that Avicenna had brought to light to the allopathic medicine of his era. His inspiration from Inayat Khan to awaken that message of understanding is clear in his introduction to the Canon, in which he compares the different forms of healing modalities, placing them in a Universal Worship context, each of value, use and meaning within its own culture and all harmoniously working together toward healing of human beings.
His work has been hinted at as perhaps helpful in HIV research, as well of course in the very early diagnosis of cancer via blood tests. However, no one has as yet fully developed his research or theories. At freepatents online, I found this notation while searching for info on Gruner:
Cell-based detection and differentiation of lung cancer
Document Type and Number: United States Patent 6939670
Also found was this lengthy quote from Gruner’s 1946 self-published monograph, An Interpretation of Cancer, with commentary following.
Stage 3. The Stage of Malignancy
29.–The growth which has formed along the lines indicated is not
necessarily ”malignant”, whatever its microscopic structure. We know that ”lumps” may occur for a long time in the breast, for
instance, and then start growing. We know that a ”villous growth” in the bladder may remain innocent for a long time, and then start ”infiltrating”; that a warty growth in the larynx may show no sign of ”malignancy” for a long period of time. This means that malignancy is superadded. How? By the development of a virus in it. This virus can be formed de novo in the cancer cells (in which case it would be called a ferment, or ”enzyme”) or it may be introduced from without–presumably from another person (directly or indirectly, like malaria). In both cases, secondary deposits begin to appear and we must ascribe this to the presence of the virus, rather than to cancer cells. (See section 68).
On this view, the cancerous growth is the place where the virus is incubated. Local lymph-stasis gives the necessary time for the agent to establish itself. Then, liberated from the cells into the intercellular fluids, the ”germ” enters the lymphatic roots and finally spread through the body (Handley). Undue surgical manipulation both before and during an operation facilitates this liberation of the virus; and furthermore, as Percy pointed out, as long as surgical technique does not include adequate post-operative drainage through an open wound, metastasis formation is inevitable.
The various organisms (”germs”) which can be found in cancer
tissues and in the blood and excreta–for the most part dismissed as unimportant ”contaminants” or ”concomitants”–are associated with necrotic changes and putrefactive break-down in the tumour. To those who recognize pleomorphism, such organisms are later developments, and there is nothing incongruous in the fact of their being unable to start cancerous development either in the same patient or in other persons, or in experimental animals. Rappin’s ”microbe de sortie” is apparently non-pathogenic simply because the effective phase is ultra-microscopic or intracellular, especially in the spleen; it is the virus form which is significant for the spread of cancer (see 23, iii, and v; 68 and 73).
To repeat, various very definite and clean-cut factors (nutritional errors, intoxications, past infections), give rise to flocculations in the intercellular spaces, and the vis medicatrix naturae accounts for the local tumour growth. If the conditions are not rectified, virus development supervenes. The tumour now manifests the well-known characteristics of malignancy. (Sections 57, 62, 68, 72 justify this view, so divergent from academic teaching.)
30.–The practical importance of this interpretation of the cancerous process is easily perceived. First, the public should be warned of the contributory factors (section 23) so that they can at least take some precautions. When stage 2 is reached, the physician in his turn should at once act similarly, for, despite all the propaganda of the Societies for the Control of Cancer, surgical and even radiological measures are never instituted immediately (i.e. the same day) and every hour means more and more progress of the disease. Secondly, a patient in the third stage is not only approaching the end of life, but is a source of dissemination –despite official insistence to the contrary. The time between ”infection” and appearance of a growth is so long (the best analogy being provided by leprosy) that few will associate the two.
Yet, on the basis of this thesis, the whole disease would stop if the specific ”pathogen” could be ”resolved” (that is, first made soluble, then completely cleared out through the normal emunctories). The virus could not survive.
It is further evident from Dr. Gruner’s remarks that any means that can prevent the emergence of pathogenic viral forms within the organism would be an effective defense against cancers, while a cure would be provided if the virus could be destroyed during the process of infection. In the former, live blood analysis under
dark field microscopy could be a significant factor, while the
frequency instrument developed by Rife has already been proven an effective means of destroying cancer-causing viruses, and could
likely also be effective against HIV.
There is lots of info on Rife on the internet, and much of it includes Gruner’s name. However, Gruner himself was a very traditonal medical scientist. It is just that his tradition was deeper than anyone ever suspected, rooted in an understanding of the body and its elements as ultimately guided by the breath and its variants. His vision was a perfect fusion of ancient teachings and modern understandings, and should be carried forward and reexamined for the 21st century.