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which emanates from the stars. Whether this is precisely physical or not, it may, in respect to the far greater body, be considered a spirit. This life stands in connection with the stars from which it has been drawn, and attracts their strength to it, like a magnet. This life he calls the “ Magnes Microcosmi”—the little world, and explains through it many circumstances in nature. In the second book on the plague, he teaches that there lies an attractive power in man, which draws diseases out of chaos. In the fourth treatise on the plague, he asserts that the magnetic power is diffused throughout nature; that the human mummy draws the poisonous properties out of the moon, the stars, and other things towards itself; whilst, on the other hand, the moon and the stars again attract poisonous exhalations to themselves, and impart them to others.
Man is taken out of the four elements, and is nourished by them; but not merely palpably so through the stomach, but also imperceptibly through the magnetic power, which resides in all nature, and by which every individual member draws its specific nourishment to itself.
The sun and the stars attract from us to themselves, and we from them again to us. Those secret influences have their positive office in the maintenance of the body.
Upon this theory of magnetism is based the sympathetic cure of disease. Paracelsus says on this head, that in the mummy, or so-called magnet, all physical power resides, and that a little dose draws everything homogeneous in the whole body to itself. One can in this way free oneself in the most wonderful manner from diseases which are the most difficult of cure, as gout, rheumatism, etc., when we convert ourselves, as it were, to iron; that is, when we apply a small part of the decayed mummy to another sound body. This draws immediately the whole of the disease, as the magnet does the iron, to itself; and the first becomes sound, the second receives the disease.
The celebrated Magisterium Magnetisis atincture extracted from the magnet. In the fourth book, Archidoxarum, he boasts of this tincture that it is a specific; that it will draw every kind of disease out of the human body. He believed that this tincture even communicated its properties to the vial in which it was kept, and that it could not only attract iron, but straws and other bodies. So far Hemmann or Paracelsus.
Very many beautiful and instructive things are contained in the books upon the nature of the stars (De Ente estrorum, lib. i.) ; on the nature of spirits (De Ente spirituali
, lib. iv.) ; on the nature of God (De Ente Dei, lib. v.); the book on the plague, etc.
Paracelsus compares the body to wood, and the life to fire. But this comes, like the light, from the stars and from heaven: “ firmamento et ex astris promanat.” He styles magic the philosophy of Alchemy; the discoverer of the healing art, and the principles of it, the analysis of Medicine. But that is not like the magic, which man does not understand (Theophrasti Paracelsi Opera omnia, Geneve, 1658, vol. i. pp. 634 and 698.)
He laid inmense importance on the knowledge of the machinery of the stars. “ We must know,” he says, “ that man has something magnetic in him, without which he cannot exist. But the magnetism is there on account of man, not man on account of the magnetism. This magnetic principle contains the magnetism of man, and comes from the stars, and nowhere else.”
“Sciendum est, debere hominem habere Magnaue, sine quo vivere nequeat. Magnate enim propter hominem factum est, non homo propter Magnale. Hoc Magnale Magnale homines sustentat, hoc autem ex astris descendit et ex nullo alio.”—L. c. p. 167.
In another place he says :- “ Similem attractivam vim in homo quoque
conditam fert, quæ in uno gradu cum magnetica vi versatur. Jam ergo homo foris secus per vim illam ad se trahit circumstans sibi chaos. Hinc sequitur infectio æris in homine. Hinc intelligite, quod magnes est spiritualis in homine fit quærens hominem infectum, si uniatur foris cum chao. Sic sani per magneticam hanc attractionem ab ægris inficiuntur.”—L. C. p. 411. “A similar attractive power is born with men,
which resembles a kind of magnetic power. Through this power man draws chaos to himself from without, and therefore follows the infection of the air by men.”
He has in a very remarkable manner explained infection
as magnetic, and in the same way as Frederick Hufeland has done recently (On Sympathy, etc.) “ Therefore,” he says,
“ you must understand that the magnet is that spirit of life in man which the infected man seeks, as both unite themselves with chaos from without. And thus the healthy are infected by the unhealthy through magnetic attraction. The fact
be shown by an example. When sound eyes look at bleared ones, the sound eyes attract the chaos of the diseased eyes to them, and the evil passes immediately over into the sound eyes.'
We understand what was the opinion of Paracelsus on this head from the following words :-"I assert,” he says, “decidedly and openly, what I have learned of the magnet froin experience, that there lies in it a secret of so exalted a character, that without its means we cannot cure many diseases” (1. c. p. 194.)
It is, also, further remarkable that Paracelsus based the whole of his theory on the Bible, which he knew almost by rote. Therefore he denounced the teaching of his opponents in the bitterest terms, as erroneous doctrines. This severe language probably caused him so many mortal enemies. It is worth the while to hear his own words on this subject :
“Ye of Paris, Padua, Montpellier, Salerno, Vienna, and Leipzig ; ye are not teachers of the truth, but the confessors of lies (confessores mendaciorum.) Your philosophy is a lie. Would you know what magic is, then seek it in the Revelations (ex apocalypsi quærite rem.) This is precisely the trouble and misery of the world, that all your arts are founded on lies. It is true that ye cry all of you
with one mouth, that your philosophy does not need the evidence of the Scriptures. As you cannot yourselves prove your teachings from the Bible and the Revelations, then let your farces have an end. The Bible is the true key and interpreter. John, not the less than Moses, Elias, Enoch, David, Solomon, Daniel, Jeremiah, and the rest of the prophets, was a magician, Cabbalist, and diviner. If now all, or even any of those I have named, were yet living, I do not doubt that you would make an example of them in your miserable slaughter-house, and would annihilate them there, and, if it were possible, the Creator of all things too” (1. c. p. 382.)
“ Talişınans," says Paracelsus, “ are the boxes in which the heavenly influences are preserved!”
Farther, he speaks in “Philosophia fugaci,” of the Cabbalah, and of magic rings, by which persons may be brought into a condition which enables them to know what is taking place two hundred miles off. In another book (Archidoxis magica) he speaks of talismans and sympathetic salves, with which wounds may be cured without touching them.
The most remarkable part of what Pfaff has selected from Paracelsus is found in the following passages :
“ Three spirits live in and actuate man; three worlds cast their beams upon him; but all three only as the image and echo of one and the same all-constructing and uniting principle of production. The first is the spirit of the elements ; the second the spirit of the stars; the third is the Divine Spirit.” Thus taught, in the sixteenth century, Paracelsus. In these three branches all human wisdom that leads to God develops itself. It comes forth in the forms of physiology, astrulogy, and theology. That pervading band of universal consciousness is united in the stars, and from it is all human wisdom named; that is astronomy and nature, brought down hither from the stars ; Astronomy from above; the wisdom and the work of those devoted to God; Astronomy of the new Olympus; the employment and the life of those inspired through faith.
The spirit of the elements rules the lower propensities of man.
But as there is only one life, so there is only one in the stars as the copies in animal and human forms which they nourish. Thus is fixed in man, through the spirit of the elements, that general life of the earth in the deeper and more confined organisation. All created things are letters and books to describe the origin and descent of
Thus, says Paracelsus, is the great world a domain of the little world ; therefore in the little are all the kinds of dragons, serpents, the race of vipers, adders, and the nature of wolves and sheep. Thus the human body is possessed of primeval stuff (earth-clod in the Scriptures), and as a portion of the earth has received into itself the starry influence, which itself nourishes the earthly body, by which it is able to enter into union with the astral spirits, as it were, into a marriage. Therefore, as man in himself may learn the elements, he must also learn the sidereal, he must also learn the eternal. Three lights thus burn in man, and thus there are three species of learning, and in the three is man perfected. And although it is true that two lights are a darkness to the third, yet they are the lights of the world, in which man by the help of natural lights must wander. The body comes from the elements, the spirit from the
All that the brain produces takes its inspiration from the stars. Although all musicians should die, yet the same schoolmaster, Heaven, is not dead, which would become a teacher anew. Many stars have not yet had their influence; therefore the discovery of arts is not yet come to an end. Man eats and drinks of the elements, for the sustenance of his blood and flesh; from the stars are the intellect and thoughts sustained in his spirit.”
Another image is the image of the magnet :-“God has ordained that man has a magnet in himself; one, namely, of the elements ; therefore he attracts them again to himself; one of the stars, out of which he again draws to himself the microcosmic sensient faculty of the stars."
“ The whole world surrounds man, and is surrounded as a point is surrounded by a circle. Thus it follows that all things have their impulse in their centres, even as a pippin lies in an apple, and draws from it its nourishment; for it is surrounded by the apple, and is sustained by the apple, and from it is derived also its nourishment.”
“Whether a fire burns or not may be discovered by water, much or little. Thus is man, in the midst of the world. He is received and surrounded as a pot which stands in the midst of a tripod; and as the pot and whatever is contained in it must do what the fire will, -boil, steam, etc., so is it with the body. In the same manner as fire passes through an iron stove, do the stars pass through man with all their properties, and go into him as the rain into the earth, which gives fruit out of that same rain. Now observe that the stars surround the whole earth, as a shell does the egg; through the shell comes the air, and penetrates to the centre of the world. As the fish suffer in the pond, when heat or cold enters it, so the vapour of the stars passes through man.
He speaks of the poisoning of the atmosphere, of the