PARACELSUS' FIVE CAUSES OF DISEASE
"There is only one eternal and universal Cause of everything, which is God, and if we were to write in a true Christian Spirit, we should not make any divisions; but for the sake of helping our finite understanding, which is not able to grasp the power of the Infinite, we are forced to accept the theory of a variety of causes, hoping thereby to sharpen our intellect for the Comprehension of finite things, until by the illumination of Divine Wisdom we shall become able to behold by the eye of Faith the eternal Unity of the All."
We have therefore, divided the cause of all diseases into five classes, which are as follows:
1. Ens Astrale, i.e. Astrological causes and "acts of God" or "accidents". For example, epidemics, floods, famine, earthquakes.
2. Ens Venenale, i.e. Environmental poisons, substances and impurities. For example, unsuitable foods, drugs, poisons, toxic fumes.
3. Ens Naturale, i.e. Physical causes against
For example, "immoral" behaviour - selfishness,
dishonesty, etc., "The Seven Vices or Sins",
destructive living habits and lifestyle, the
4. Ens Spirituale, i.e. Psychological causes or mental, emotional, desire and will-directed causes. "The Seven Vices" and psychosomatic disease. Lack of faith.
5. Ens Deale, i.e. originating from Divine Causes (Karma) - the fundamental cause of everything that exists. "As you sow, so shall you reap." All disease is the effect of previously existing cause which may be createdin this life (natural cause), or created during a former existence (spiritual cause). Ens Deale refers to the latter (spiritual cause).
"There are two principles active in Man; One is the principle of matter, which constitutes the corporeal visible body; the other one is the Spirit, intangible and invisible, and the spiritual principle may be vitiated and diseased as well as the body, and transmit its diseases to the body. (N.B. Spirit in this dase refers both to Soul/consciousness and Spirit/life force.) The Ens Astrale, Veneni and Naturale act upon the body; but the Ens Spirituale and Deale belong to the Spirit; if the body suffers, the spirit need not suffer; but if the spirit suffers, the body suffers; the body cannot live without the spirit; but the spirit is not confined by the body."
As was earlier indicated, "All health and all disease comes from God, and in God is the cure." "All diseases ....... may be cured by the power of the true Faith."
In order to try to clarify the foregoing description of Paracelsus' 5 causes of disease into the perspective of our own evolution, firstly a definition of disease is in order: In this discussion we refer to disease in its widest sense - Disease (lack of ease) is the opposite of oneness (wholeness or health) or separation from God in its extreme sense. Thus we are all diseased or imperfect in the absolute sense. Thus disease is the state of imperfection.
Alchemy is a process of evolution towards perfection, of a process of overcoming disease.
Disease in the mundane sense refers only to the physical body - the lack of integrity of its function thru infection, injury, etc. Looking further we see many suffering from mental illness today. Schizophrenia is a general name given to the majority of mental problems that one in ten Americans and Australians complain of and are treated for at least at one stage in their lives. Schizophrenia is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as "a form of mental disease in which the personality is disintegrated and detached from its environment; 'split mind' literally".
Thus, again, in disease we have a split, separation or disintegrity in our body and/or mind.
The separation is from our own core or God, for God is both our true inner core and the Natural world outside us.
Thus, those alienated from their environment are simultaneously alienated from themselves within.
The Man of the Zodiac: Wood engraving, Paris 1491.
Paracelsus uses the terminology of Macrocosm and Microcosm; the Outer and Inner; Above and Below, and their reflective correspondence.
Apart from seeing disease in terms of separation from the one or lack of wholeness, we may equally see disease as imbalance. In this case wholeness or perfection lies in balance. The created material and mental worlds exist by virtue of the Law of Polarity or Duality. Thus, we are surrounded by this principle of opposites. The Chinese Taoists spoke of YIN and YANG throughout the Created Universe. Disease will occur when an excess of one principle occurs or a deficiency of the other. An excess may take the form of tension, fear, over secretion of a gland, for example.
Only from the central point of balance may evolutionary growth take place. Only from the union of positive and negative may a new positive of a higher order arise.
All the above implies that Cure of Disease lies in focusing the life on God, or in integrating life with the focus on the evolution of consciousness; the expansion of potentials and the revelation of the higher self.
Many analogies can be used to help understand this process of evolutionary growth and transformation.
Let us take the wheel with its rim, spoke and core. The rim of the wheel with its ups and downs as it turns can represent the cyclic changes of everyday life.
The spokes can represent the substances our lives are made from - our career and pursuit for material security; our various loved ones; our other desires and drives.
The core of the wheel represents God from which all things radiate and into which we may disappear into another dimension. Balance only occurs when life turns with God (the core) as the axis. When our lives are centred on material pursuits or on our loved ones alone, or on other desires and diversions, the life wheel runs inevitably off-centre and imbalance mental or physical, must result.
Returning now to Paracelsus' 5 causes we may be able to look a bit deeper into his meanings.
Thus the 5 causes are interdependant and interrelated so that the origin of a particular disease will usually lie in two or more of these causes. One cause may be the reflection of another cause in the way the Microcosm reflects the Macrocosm and vice versa. Let us look further at this doctrine of correspondence using quotes from Paracelsus.
Paracelsus, before Jung, advanced a synchronistic concept in disease causation, i.e. disease is not caused by the stars as such, but there is a harmonic correspondence between certain planetary bodies and their respective human mental attributes and physical organs. The Macrocosmic (Astral) and the Microcosmic (Human) are reflections of the same principle; one is not subordinate to the other.
When any disturbance in life manifests - or any pattern, any motion, any crisis, any important happening - it has both a physical and a psychic reflection, or both a microcosmic and macrocosmic reflection. One does not cause the other. Both occur synchronistically and are expressions of the one principle inherent in both.
If we find ourselves under a so-called negative or "evil" astral influence, the stars are no more the cause of the influence than we are, but because we are bound by time, cause appears separated from effect. Thus Karma and Ens Deale become Ens Astrale and it is said that our horoscope and the Astral influences upon our lives are largely a result of previous cause or our action in previous existences.
Some quotes now from Paracelsus:
"The world is the Macrocosm and man the Microcosm, and the elements of all that exists in the former exist in the latter. All the influences that come from the sun, the planets, the stars, act therefore invisibly upon man, and if these influences are evil they will produce evil effects."
"An evil astral influence does not poison the whole world, but only those places where causes for infection exist. If no germs of disease exist in our atmosphere, the astral influences coming from the outside will cause no harm. if evil elements exist in the sphere of our soul, they attract such astral influences as may develop diseases."
The natural therapist of today sees infectious disease as being caused by accumulated "toxic wastes" within the body and sees bacteria and viruses merely as the agent of disease, not the cause.
THE THEORY OF THE 4 HUMOURS of the Renaissance was related to the elements of astrology (fire-type = choleric; water-type = melancholic; air-type = phlegmatic; earth-type = sanguine).
This implied that excess of one element produced an individual of one of the above types. A healthy, well-balanced individual was said to need a balance of all the 4 elements.
This constitutional medicine is parallel to the Hindu theory of Tridosha.
"The moon exercises a very bad influence, especially at the time of the new moon, which may be very injurious for persons whose sidereal bodies possess magnetic elements that will attract that influence, and the conjunction of the moon with certain other planets may make her influence still more injurious. For instance, a conjunction of the Moon, Venus, and Mars may give rise to the plague; a conjunction with Saturn, to certain acute diseases, etc., but no evil influence can develop a disease where the germ of that disease does not already exist."
NOTE: Germ referred to above means seed, not necessarily bacteria or virus.
"The seat of the Sun in the microcosm is in the heart, that of the moon is in the brain. The Moon's influence is cold; and insane people have been called "lunatics" because they are often injuriously affected by the Moon, whose influence acts upon the brain and stimulates the sexual passions, and causes injurious dream and hallucinations."
"Man lives within the invisible world comparable to the yolk in an egg. The chicken growns from the white of the egg and man is nourished by the Chaos. Within man are the Sun and Moon, the planets and all the rest of the stars and also the Chaos."
"Every organ in the human body is formed by the action of certain principles that exist in the Universe, and the former attract the corresponding activity in the latter. Thus the heart is in sympathy with the elements of the sun, the brain with the moon, the
gall-bladder with Mars, the kidneys with Venus, the lungs with Mercury, the liver with Jupiter, the spleen with Saturn, etc. There are many stars in the great firmament of the Universe, and there are many germs hidden in the little world of Man, and the high influences the low; and in the Macrocosm and microcosm all things stand in intimate sympathetic relationship with each other, for all are the children of one universal father."
"If I have manna in my constitution I can attract manna from heaven. Saturn is not only in the sky, but also deep in the earth and in the ocean. What is Venus but the artemisia that grows in your garden? What is iron but Mars? That is to say, Venus and artemisia are both products of the same essence, and Mars and iron are both manifestations of the same cause. What is the human body but a constellation of the same powers that formed the stars in the sky? He who knows what iron is knows the attributes of Mars. He who knows Mars, knows the qualities of iron."
"Good or evil influence comes down from the Sun, the Moon, or the stars; the action of the macrocosmic influences stimulates the corresponding elements (the Corpora Microcosmic Astralia) existing in man into action. The same element which produces Mars, Venus or Jupiter in the sky, exists also in the body of man; because the latter is the son of the astral body of the macrocosm in the same sense as the physical body of man is a son of the earth."
"To be a physician, it is not sufficient to know the anatomy of the physical body, you should also know that of the astral body, you show know not merely a part, but the whole constitution of the macrocosm and the microcosm of man.
"Why does man want to eat, to drink, and to breathe, but because he is related to the elements of the earth, water and air, and must attract these things to his constitution; why does he need warmth, but because he is related to the element of fire and cannot do without it, and all these elements may produce diseases.
There is no disease in the elements, but the disease starts from the centres. The origin of diseases is in man, and not outside of man; but outside influences act
upon the inside and cause disease to grow. A physician who knows nothing about Cosmology will know little about disease. He should know what exists in heaven and upon the earth, what lives in the four elements and how they act upon man; in short, he should know what man is, his origin and his constitution; he should know the whole man and not merely his external form.
If man were in possession of a perfect knowledge of self, he would not need to be sick at all."
Diseases serve to teach man that he is made out of the universal Limbus (Nature), and that he is like the animals and by no means better than they. He should study himself and the rest of creation, so that he may obtain self-knowledge; and this self-knowledge should be above all obtained by the physician.
Man is the highest of all animals, and the whole of the animal creation is contained in him, and, moreover, he has the power to attain self-knowledge, a faculty which the animals do not possess."
Redrawn from Gichtel's Theosophia Practica
Regarding the Ens Venenale, Paracelsus writes:
"Everything is perfect in itself and nothing is impure if it is what it ought to be; but if two things come together, then one may be a poison to the other."
"Impurities and injurious elements may enter the human organism in various ways. They may be taken in the food or drink, they may be inhaled with the air, or be absorbed by the skin. There are visible and invisible poisonous substances, and some substances that are not injurious if they enter the organism alone, may become poisonous if they come in contact with others. There are poisons and impurities of various kinds, and what may be healthy food for one organism may be injurious if taken into another, and each thing contains hidden virtues that may be useful for some beings while they are evil for others. The salamander eats fire, the ox eats grass, the peacock may swallow snakes and the ostrich stones; but man requires a different kind of food.
Regarding Ens Spirituale, Paracelsus says that it is the Will, i.e. the power of focussed desire utilizing both mind and emotion. The power of the true Spiritual Will is known very little, because it is possessed by very few. In our present civilization, men of strong and determined Will are very few and far between; men and women are ruled to a great extent by their instincts and desires, and have not sufficient willpower to control them.
"The Ens Spirituale is a power which may affect the whole body and produce or cure all kinds of diseases; it is neither an angel nor a devil, but it is a spiritual power which in the living body is born from our thoughts."
"A person who has evil desires will have an evil imagination, and the forces created in the sphere of his mind may be projected by powerful will into the mental sphere of another.
Thoughts are not empty nothings, but they are formed out of the substance that forms the element of the soul, in the same sense as a piece of ice is made out of the substance of water.
The will is the power that may concentrate the image formed in the mind, in the same sense as the power of cold will cause a body to freeze into solid ice; and as an icicle may be thrown from one place to another, likewise an evil thought, formed into shape by an intense will, may be hurled against the mental sphere of another, and enter his soul if it be not sufficiently protected." "Imagination is the cause of many diseases, faith is the cure for all."
"Spirits are not born from the intellect, but from the will. He who lives according to the will lives on the spirit; he who lives according to the mind lives in disharmony with the spirit. The mind produces no spirit, but it determines the quality of the soul."
"There is no spiritual power in children, because they have no perfect will; he whose will is perfected, gives birth to a spirit, as a pebble produces a spark, and this spiritual power partakes of the nature of the will.
He who lives in the will, possessess the spirit - i.e., Ens Spirituale."
It is this development of the true Will which is an essential part of the acquisition of self-knowledge.
- Don Foster.
"The Life and Doctrines of Paracelsus" By Franz Hartmann. M.D., 1891/1963.
Q: The statement, "Within the 4 elements will be found the 3 essentials produced by Nature they will always reveal themselves by the Law of Polarity." Do we have this statement worded correctly?
A: The law of polarity will reveal itself within the three essentials that will be found within the four elements wherein is found the quintessence which is not one of the four but one of the three.
Q: In the work of producing the 7 daily herbal cleansers, must we use both soluble and insoluble salts?
A: It is only necessary to use the leeched out or soluble salts in the 7 daily remedies. However, in the work of the Herbal Stone, the total Salt should be used.
Q: Has analysis of the tincture of antimony, especially the fixed tincture, derived from the brownish-red powder by the hydroxide process, shown any measurable amount of antimony or other trace elements?
A: A report, dated 23 March, 1972, from an independent analytical and consulting chemical laboratory on file at the P.R.S. shows, and we quote:
"We have to report the results of our analysis of the sample of 'Oil of Antimony' received from you on 17 March, 1972. Analysis of this sample revealed:
Antimony - 630 parts per million
Arsenic - 1 part per million
Iron - 63 parts per million
Lead - 95 parts per million
Sulphur was detected in trace quantities.
The antimony was determined by atomic absorption. Spectrophometry and its presence confirmed by the Rhenish test. Arsenic, iron and lead were also determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry."
This report indicates that antimony is found in a homogeneous state in the Tincture. However, it is not so much the antimony per se found therein which is of importance as it is the inert alchemical oil dispersed throughout the tincture, which in reality represents the curing or healing properties therein. The essentials in this oil, alchemical sulphur, cannot be determined as it shows only as a hydrocarbon.
Clinical evaluation alone can do this.