Paracelsus, aka 'Paracelsus the Great', born Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim

Paracelsus, aka 'Paracelsus the Great', born Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim
1493
1541

German-Swiss Renaissance Physician, Botanist, Alchemist, Astrologer, and General Occultist

Author Quotes

All the fault and cause of difficulty in Alchemy, whereby very many persons are reduced to poverty, and others labor in vain, is wholly and solely lack of skill in the operator, and the defect or excess of materials, whether in quantity or quality, whence it ensues that, in the course of operation, things are wasted or reduced to nothing.

Been scattered o'er the visible world before, asking to be combined ? dim fragments meant to be united in some wondrous whole ? imperfect qualities throughout creation, suggesting someone creature yet to make ? some point where all those scattered rays should meet convergent in the faculties of man.

For the transmutation of metals from imperfection to perfection there are several practical receipts. Mix the one with the other. Then again separate the one pure from the other. This is nothing else but the process of permutation, set in order by perfect alchemical labor.

I, as an experienced man, will lay before you what I have learnt about sulphur? Sulphur confutes Aristotle when he says that the species of things cannot be transmuted. Sulphur transmutes them; and if Aristotle were alive at the present day, he would be completely put to the blush and made ashamed of himself.

May not truth be lodged alike in all, the lowest as the highest? Some slight film the interposing bar which binds it up, and makes the idiot, just as makes the sage some film removed, the happy outlet whence truth issues proudly? See this soul of ours! How it strives weakly in the child, is loosed in manhood, clogged by sickness, back compelled by age and waste, set free at last by death: why is it, flesh enthralls it or enthrones? What is this flesh we have to penetrate? O not alone when life flows still do truth and power emerge, but also when strange chance ruffles its current; in unused conjuncture, when sickness breaks the body ? hunger, watching, excess or languor, ? oftenest death's approach ? peril, deep joy, or woe.

Take care not to be misled by Arnold de Villa Nova, who has written on the subject of the coal fire, for in this matter he will deceive you.

This couch shall be my throne: I bid these walls be consecrate; this wretched cell become a shrine; for here God speaks to men through me.

Women's regular bleeding engenders phantoms.

All things are concealed in all. One of them all is the concealer of the rest ? their corporeal vessel, external, visible, and movable.

Beyond this wisdom there is another given from on high, which transcends the created and surpasses by far all mortal sapience. This is the light of God.

For, as the element of water lies in the middle of the globe, so, the branches run out from the root in its circuit on all sides towards the plains and towards the light. From this root very many branches are born. One branch is the Rhine, another the Danube, another the Nile, etc.

If I select some special epoch from the crowd, 'tis but to will and straight the rest dissolve away, and only that particular state is present, with all its long-forgotten circumstance, distinct and vivid as at first ? myself. A careless looker-on, and nothing more! Indifferent and amused, but nothing more! And this is death: I understand it all. New being waits me; new perceptions must be born in me before I plunge therein; which last is Death's affair, and while I speak, minute by minute he is filling me with power; and while my foot is on the threshold of boundless life ? the doors unopened yet, all preparations not complete within ? I turn new knowledge upon old events, and the effect is ? But I must not tell; it is not lawful.

My spirit is a water softening the rigid and congelated bodies of my brothers. Yet my body is inclined to the earth.

The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind.

This is alchemy, and this is the office of Vulcan; he is the apothecary and chemist of the medicine.

You should know that man has the capability (latent or active) to foresee future events and to read the future from the books of the past and from those of the present. Man also possesses a power by which he may see his friends and the circumstances by which they are surrounded, although such persons may be a thousand miles away from him at that time. This art is taught by the spiritual perception of man. It is a power which may become especially active in dreams, and that which is seen in such dreams is the reflection of the light of wisdom and prophecy in man. If a man in his waking state knows nothing of such things, the cause of his ignorance is that he does not understand how to search in himself for the powers that are given to him by God, and by which he may arrive at all the Wisdom, Reason, and Knowledge concerning everything that exists, whether it be near him or far away.

All things are poisons, for there is nothing without poisonous qualities. It is only the dose which makes a thing poison.

But herein will be noticed another way of treating Alchemy different from the previous method, and deduced by Seven Canons from the sevenfold series of the metals.

From childhood I have been possessed by a fire ? by a true fire, or faint or fierce, as from without some master, so it seemed, repressed or urged its current: this but ill expresses what I would convey ? but rather I will believe an angel ruled me thus, than that my soul's own workings, own high nature, so become manifest. I knew not then what whispered in the evening, and spoke out at midnight. If some mortal, born too soon, were laid away in some great trance ? the ages coming and going all the while ? till dawned his true time's advent, and could then record the words they spoke who kept watch by his bed ? then I might tell more of the breath so light upon my eyelids, and the fingers warm among my hair. Youth is confused: yet never so dull was i but, when that spirit passed, I turned to him, scarce consciously, as turns a water-snake when fairies cross his sleep.

If the gnomes have once bound themselves to our service, they abide by their bargain, but they require to be served in turn, and those things ought to be given to them which they require?The gnomes pass through solid rocks or walls like spirits, for all these things are to them chaos, that is, nothing.

Nature also forges man, now a gold man, now a silver man, now a fig man, now a bean man.

The dose makes the poison.

This process is alchemy: its founder is the smith Vulcan.

You who are skilled in Alchemy, and as many others as promise yourselves great riches or chiefly desire to make gold and silver, which Alchemy in different ways promises and teaches; equally, too, you who willingly undergo toil and vexations, and wish not to be freed from them, until you have attained your rewards, and the fulfillment of the promises made to you; experience teaches this every day, that out of thousands of you not even one accomplishes his desire. Is this a failure of Nature or of Art? I say, no; but it is rather the fault of fate, or of the lack of skill of the operator.

Although Alchemy has now fallen into contempt, and is even considered a thing of the past, the physician should not be influenced by such judgments.

Author Picture
First Name
Paracelsus, aka 'Paracelsus the Great', born Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim
Birth Date
1493
Death Date
1541
Bio

German-Swiss Renaissance Physician, Botanist, Alchemist, Astrologer, and General Occultist