“Hermes, who is of my ordinances ever the bearer . . .
Then taking his staff, with which he the eyelids of mortals
Closes at will, and the sleeper, at will, reawakens.” — Odyssey, Book V.
“I saw the Samothracian rings
Leap, and steel-filings boil in a brass dish
So soon as underneath it there was placed
The magnet-stone; and with wild terror seemed
The iron to flee from it in stern hate. . . .” — Lucretius, Book VI.
“But that which especially distinguishes the Brotherhood is their marvellous knowledge
of the resources of the medical art. They work not by charms but by simples.” — (MS.
Account of the Origin and Attributes of the True Rosicrucians.) ONE of the truest things ever said by a man of science is the remark made by Professor Cooke in his New Chemistry. “The history of Science shows that the age must be prepared before scientific truths can take root and grow. The barren premonitions of science have been barren because these seeds of truth fell upon unfruitful soil; and, as soon as the fulness of the time has come, the seed has taken root and the fruit has ripened . . . every student is surprised to find how very little is the share of new truth which even the greatest genius has added to the previous stock.”
The revolution through which chemistry has recently passed, is well calculated to concentrate the attention of chemists upon this fact; and it would not be strange, if, in less time than it has required to effect it, the claims of the alchemists would be examined with impartiality, and studied from a rational point of view. To bridge over the narrow gulf which now separates the new chemistry from old alchemy, is little, if any harder than what they have done in going from dualism to the law of Avogadro.
As Ampere served to introduce Avogadro to our contemporary chemists, so Reichenbach will perhaps one day be found to have paved the way with his OD for the just appreciation of Paracelsus. It was more than fifty years before molecules were accepted as units of chemical calculations; it may require less than half that time to cause the superlative merits of the Swiss mystic to be acknowledged. The warning paragraph about healing mediums, which will be found elsewhere, might have
been written by one who had read his works. “You must understand,” he says, “that the magnet is that spirit of life in man which the infected seeks, as both unite themselves with chaos from without. And thus the healthy are infected by the unhealthy through magnetic attraction.”
The primal causes of the diseases afflicting mankind; the secret relations between physiology and psychology, vainly tortured by men of modern science for some clew to base their speculations upon; the specifics and remedies for every ailment of the human body — all are described and accounted for in his voluminous works. Electro-magnetism, the so-called discovery of Professor Oersted, had been used by Paracelsus three centuries before. This may be demonstrated by examining critically his mode of curing disease. Upon his achievements in chemistry there is no need to enlarge, for it is admitted by fair and unprejudiced writers that he was one of the greatest chemists of his time. Brierre de Boismont terms him a “genius” and agrees with Deleuze that he created a new epoch in the history of medicine. The secret of his successful and, as they were called, magic cures lies in his sovereign contempt for the so-called learned “authorities” of his age. “Seeking for truth,” says Paracelsus, “I considered with myself that if there were no teachers of medicine in this world, how would I set to learn the art? No otherwise than in the great open book of nature, written with the finger of God. . . . I am accused and denounced for not having entered in at the right door of art. But which is the right one? Galen, Avicenna, Mesue, Rhasis, or honest nature? I believe, the last! Through this door I entered, and the light of nature, and no apothecary’s lamp directed me on my way.”
Moe is the founder of GnosticWarrior.com. A website dedicated to both the ancient and modern teachings of Gnosticism.