Who Was Paracelsus?
Aureolus Philippus Theophrastus Paracelsus
Born 1493 - Died 1541
Paracelsus is known as the
"Father of Modern Medicine and chemistry" and his life is the stuff of
legend. His full birth name was Aureleous Phillipus Theophrastus
Bombast von Hoenheim aka Paracelsus. Few people have contributed as
much to humanity and have received such little recognition for it. Here in
the United States very few people have ever heard of Paracelsus although
there are medical companies named after him. He was born in the 15th century and had a gift for being able to penetrate into the "workshop of
Nature" more clearly than anyone before or since. With this unprecedented
and incredible insight it is not surprising that Paracelsus is reputed to
have been the quintessential healer of his time or, for that matter,
possibly any time. A very hard act to follow indeed!
His numerous writings
include the most sublime spiritual treatises that explain in great detail
and sequential logic the finer points of Christian teachings, opening an
illuminating glimpse into the realm of the Spiritual to the common man. In
these writings the human being was seen as the perfection of creation
simultaneously existing in more than one dimension. Which in accordance with
Christian philosophy was described as a triplicity. The human being exists
as a spiritual being, an astral being and a physical being all at the same
time. Put differently a human being has a spirit, a soul and a physical
body. For the longest time this pivotal concept was considered a mystery. At
best, because of the superstition of the times, this relatively simple
concept had become convoluted to the point of being incomprehensible - let
alone usable as a working model for healing of reality. Yet it is one of the
central concepts of the principles of Alchemy, which in its subsequent
interpretations became modern day chemistry.
Through this view of the human being also came the basis of
the origin of diseases and their cure. Paracelsus wrote extensive and
detailed medical writings stating that there are only 11 possible diseases
or combinations thereof – exclusive of wounds. He wrote the first books on
surgery and the proper treatment of wounds because of its need on
battlefields. In relatively brief simple yet precise and logical terms he
defined the aliments and laid out a simple explanation of what they were and
what caused them in real and understandable terms.
For example: there is an ailment in the Paracelcian
philosophy that is simply called "Worms." The connotation of this simplistic
name in the mind of a present day person would likely imply some sort of
simplistic parasitic ailment. In reality and most accurately the Paracelsian
category of "Worms" encompasses all manner of vermin, bacteria and viruses
be they transmitted by air, water, soil, food, contact with animals, a hand
shake, sexual contacts etc. as one ailment. No one explains this
conceptually better than Paracelsus. Whereas modern day medicine may discuss
certain specific facts, Paracelsus clearly explains the principle and goes
on to explain how to solve the ailment - in principle.
His talent garnered him much notoriety and he became a
professor of medicine at the University of Basel in Switzerland and taught
at various Universities throughout Europe. While in Basel, he openly burned
the books of such classical physicians as Galen and Avicenna and others. At
the same time he was very vocal about their backwardness of these classical
philosophers and those who followed their teachings. He was also the first
to break with tradition and taught in the colloquial German language as
opposed to the standard Latin. This revealed, the up to that point, closely
guarded identify of common herbs and substances used in the preparation of
costly medicinal and pharmaceutical products to the common folk which freed
them to a certain extent from their dependency on these professions. In
spite of their jealous dislike of Paracelsus his astounding medical success
was undeniable leading many physicians to try to emulate him, several penned
books using his name as being the author while constantly vilifying him. He
was mercilessly maligned by his own profession yet it is ironic that to this
day the European medical profession awards the prestigious "Paracelsus
Medal" for outstanding medical breakthroughs or achievements.
In spite of all of this he was well loved by the common
folk whom he helped effectively and untiringly. There were several who
recognized his genius - among them monarchs and students who followed his
teachings and the common folk, but the "status quo" was always in jeopardy
when Paracelsus spoke openly. He denounced the physicians, clergy (including
the Bishops, Cardinals - even the Pope), lawyers and politicians of the day
calling them people of lazy, opportunistic, deplorable and willfully
ignorant in character (he said much more), who deliberately made life
difficult for the rest of humanity due to their self assumed superiority.
Needless to say, this did not endear him to most of the powerful of that
time and was forced to live ‘on the run’ for a while.
Sadly, Paracelsus was murdered at the now famous "White
Horse Inn" on Lake Wolfgang (Wolfgangsee) in Austria under dubious
circumstances. Being spiritually rich but "materially" poor, the motive for
his murder could not have been theft – conspiracy theories still abound.
It is amazing to read the scope and quality of his many
voluminous writings. What is more is that given the extraordinary
circumstances of his life that he had the time to write as much as he did.
The complete formula for what has now become known as the
famous Swedish Bitters was from Paracelsus.
It is only fair that he should be rightfully credited with it and its
effectiveness. It is also not likely that he would have copied it from
someone else because no one at that time was as knowledgeable as he was.
|If you want to know the Paracelsus here is a larger selection of his work.
It should be noted that in his writings one must get acquainted with the thought process and terminologies of the time. Paracelsus also coined some of his own terminology at times to better describe his concepts.