Mary drew upon the wisdom of Paracelsus:
Health is not freedom from desire. Health is freedom from cause.
It is not the purpose of philosophy to intellectualize life, but rather to create an ever practical guide to the decisions of daily life.
The true physician studies the invisible man more earnestly than the visible.
Paracelsus, born Philippus Arueolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, was born in 1493 and died in 1541. He was a German-Swiss Renassaince physician, botanist, alchemist, astrologer and general occultist. He founded the discipline of toxicology. He is also known as a revolutionary for insisting upon using observations of nature, rather than looking to ancient texts, in open and radical defiance of medical practice of his day. He is also credited for give zinc its name, calling it zincum, and for the terms “gas”, “chemistry” and “alcohol”. Modern psychology often also credits him for being the first to note that some diseases are rooted in psychological illness.
Paracelsus was born and raised in the village of Einsiedeln in Switzerland. His father was a German chemist and physician. His mother was Swiss and presumably died in his childhood. In 1502 the family moved to Villach, Carinthia where his father worked as a physician. He received a profound humanistic and theological education by his father, local clerics and the convent school of St. Paul’s Abbey in the Lavanttal. At the age of 16 he started studying medicine at the University of Basel, later moving to Vienna. He gained his doctorate from the University of Ferrara in 1515 or 1516.
He held a natural affinity with the Hermetic, Neoplatonic and Pythagorean philosophies central to the Renaissance and rejected the magic theories of Agrippa and Flamel. Astrology was a very important part of his medicine and he was a practicing astrologer. He provided astrological talismans for curing disease as well as creating talismans for each sign of the Zodiac. He invented an alphabet called the Alphabet of the Magi, for engraving angelic names upon talismans.
He pioneered the use of chemicals and minerals in medicine. H used experimentation in learning about the human body. He was also responsible for the creation of laudanum, an opium tincture very common until the 19th century.
He gained a reputation for being arrogant and garnered the anger of other physicians in Europe. He was forced from the city after suing to collect an unpaid physician’s fee and the city council of Numberg prohibited the printing of his works.
He wandered Europe, Africa and Asia Minor in the pursuit of hidden knowledge. He regained fame in 1536 when his Die grosse Wundartznei (The Great Surgery Book) was published.
His contributions to medicine can be seen in the context of the birth of Lutheranism. He was a contemporary of Copernicus, Da Vinci and martin Luther. During his life he was compared with Luther in part because his ideas were different from the mainstream and because of openly defiant acts against existing authorities in medicine, such as his public burning of ancient books.
He died at the age of 47 of natural causes and was buried according to his wishes in the cemetery at the church of St. Sebastian in Salzburg.
Is motto was “Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself.”
He believed in the Greek concept of the four elements. But also introduce the idea that, on another level, the cosmos is fashioned from three spiritual substances: the tria prima of mercury, sulfur and salt. He viewed them not as merely simple substances but rather broad principles that gave every object both its inner essence and outward form. For example, when a piece of wood is burnt, the products reflect its constitution: smoke reflects mercury, flame reflects sulfur and ash reflects salt.
The tri prima also defined the human identity. Sulfur embodied the soul (emotions and desires); salt represented the body; mercury epitomized the spirit (imagination, moral judgment and higher mental faculties. By understanding the chemical nature of the tria prima, a physician could discover the means of curing disease.
His hermetical views were that sickness and health in the body relied on the harmony of man (microcosm) and Nature (macrocosm). ). He took an approach different from those before him, using this analogy not in the manner of soul-purification but in the manner that humans must have certain balances of minerals in their bodies, and that certain illnesses of the body had chemical remedies that could cure them. (Debus & Multhauf, p. 6-12)
As a result of this hermetical idea of harmony, the universe’s macrocosm was represented in every person as a microcosm. According to the insights at the time, there were Seven planets in the sky, Seven metals on Earth and Seven centers (or major organs) in Man — seven was a special number. Everything was heavenly and closely interrelated (see table below).
Diseases were caused by poisons brought here from the stars. But ‘poisons’ were not necessarily something negative, in part because related substances interacted, in part because only the dose determined if a substance was poisonous or not. Evil could expel evil. Therefore, poisons could have beneficial medical effects. Because everything in the universe was interrelated, beneficial medical substances could be found in herbs, minerals and various chemical combinations thereof. Paracelsus viewed the universe as one coherent organism pervaded by a uniting lifegiving spirit, and this in its entirety, Man included, was ‘God’. His views put him at odds with the Church, for which there necessarily had to be a difference between the Creator and the created.
He summarized his own views:
“Many have said of Alchemy, that it is for the making of gold and silver. For me such is not the aim, but to consider only what virtue and power may lie in medicines.”(Edwardes, p. 47)
Paracelsus, sometimes called the father of toxicology, wrote:
“All things are poison, and nothing is without poison; only the dose permits something not to be poisonous.”
This information was taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. There is more, much more. I hope you will want to see for yourself.