Chapter XI. We wish the statements we made in the Fama Fraternitatis concerning the transmutation of metals and the universal medicine to be lightly understood. While we realize that both these works are attainable by man, we fear that many really great minds may be led away from the true quest of knowledge and understanding if they permit themselves to limit their investigation to the transmutation of metals. When to a man is given power to heal disease, to overcome poverty, and to reach a position of worldly dignity, that man is beset by numerous temptations and unless he possess true knowledge and full understanding he will become a terrible menace to mankind. The alchemist who attains to the art of transmuting base metals can do all manner of evil unless his understanding be as great as his self-created wealth. We therefore affirm that man must first gain knowledge, virtue, and understanding; then all other things may be added unto him. We accuse the Christian Church of the great sin of possessing power and using it unwisely; therefore we prophesy that it shall fall by the weight of its own iniquities and its crown shall be brought to naught.

Chapter XII. In concluding our Confessio, we earnestly admonish you to cast aside the worthless books of pseudo-alchemists and philosophers (of whom there are many in our age), who make light of the Holy Trinity and deceive the credulous with meaningless enigmas. One of the greatest of these is a stage player, a man with


From Fludd’s Collectio Operum. This plate, engraved by de Bry, is the most famous of the diagrams illustrating the philosophic principles of Robert Fludd (Robertus de Fluctibus). Three figures are outstanding links between Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry: Michael Maier, Elias Ashmole, and Robert Fludd. De Quincey considers Robert Fludd to be the immediate father of Freemasonry. (See The Rosicrucians and Freemasons.) Edward Waite considers Robert Fludd as second to none of the disciples of Paracelsus, even going as far as to declare that Fludd far surpassed his master. He further adds, “The central figure of Rosicrucian literature, towering as an intellectual giant above the crowd of souffleurs, theosophists, and charlatanic Professors of the magnum opus, who, directly or otherwise, were connected with the mysterious Brotherhood, is Robertus de Fluctibus, the great English mystical philosopher of the seventeenth century, a man of immense erudition, of exalted mind, and, to judge by his writings, of extreme personal sanctity. ” (See The Real History of the Rosicrucians.) Robert Fludd was born in 1574 and died in 1637.

The de Bry diagram shown above is almost self-explanatory. Outside the circle of the starry heavens are the three fiery rings of the empyreum–the triple fire of the Supreme Creator–in which dwell the celestial creatures. Within he, of the stars are the circles of the planets and elements. After the element of air comes the circle of the world (earth). The circle of animals is followed by the circle of plants, which, in turn is followed by the circle of he minerals. Then come various industries and in the center is a terrestrial globe with an ape-man sitting upon it, measuring a sphere with a pair of compasses. This little figure represents the animal creation. In the outer ring of fire, above is the sacred name of Jehovah surrounded by clouds. From these clouds issues a hand holding a chain. Between the divine sphere and the lower world personified by the ape is the figure of a woman. It is to be specially noted that the female figure is merely holding the chain connecting her with the lower world, but the chain connecting her with the higher world ends in a shackle about her wrist. This female figure is capable of several interpretations: she may represent humanity suspended between divinity and the beast; she may represent Nature as the link between God and the lower world; or she may represent the human soul–the common denominator between the superior and the inferior.

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