Paracelsus lecture 1527

“Theophrastus Bombast of Hohenhelm, doctor of both medicines and professor, greetings to the students of medicine.  Of all disciplines, medicine alone, through the grace of God and according to the opinion of authors divine and profane, is recognized as a sacred art.  Yet, few doctors today practice it with success and therefore the time has come to bring it back to its former dignity, to cleanse it from the leaven of the barbarians, and to purge their errors.  We shall do so not by strictly adhering to the rules of the ancients, but exclusively by studying nature and using the experience, which we have gained in long years of practice.  Who does not know that most contemporary doctors fail because they slavishly abide by the precepts of Avicenna, Galen, and Hippocrates, as though these were Apollo’s oracles from which it is not allowed to digress by a finger’s breadth.  If it pleases God, this way may lead to splendid titles, but does not make a true doctor.

 

What a doctor needs is not eloquence or knowledge of language and of books, illustrious though they be, but profound knowledge of Nature and her works.  The task of a rhetorician is to bring the judge over to his opinion.  The doctor must know the causes and symptoms of the disease and use his judgment to prescribe the right medicine.

 

Thanks to the liberal allowance the gentlemen of Basle have granted for that purpose, I shall explain the textbooks which I have written on surgery and pathology, every day for two hours, for the greatest benefit of the audience, as an introduction to my healing methods.  I do not compile them from excerpts of Hippocrates or Galen.  In ceaseless toil I created them anew upon the foundation of experience, the supreme teacher of all things.  If I want to prove anything, I shall not do so by quoting authorities, but by experiment and by reasoning thereupon.  If, therefore, dear reader, you should feel the impulse to enter into those divine mysteries, if within a brief lapse of time you should want to fathom the depths of medicine, then come to me at Basle and you will find much more than I can say here in a few words.

 

To express myself more plainly, let me say here, by way of example, that I do not believe in the ancient doctrine of complexions and humors, which has been falsely supposed to account for all diseases.  It is because of these doctrines that so few physicians have correct views of disease, its origins and its course.  I bid you, do not pass a premature judgment on Theophrastus until you have heard him.  Farewell, and come with a good will to study our attempt to reform medicine. ”

Paracelsus     dated  1527

 

 

 

“Theophrastus Bombast of Hohenhelm, doctor of both medicines and professor, greetings to the students of medicine.  Of all disciplines, medicine alone, through the grace of God and according to the opinion of authors divine and profane, is recognized as a sacred art.  Yet, few doctors today practice it with success and therefore the time has come to bring it back to its former dignity, to cleanse it from the leaven of the barbarians, and to purge their errors.  We shall do so not by strictly adhering to the rules of the ancients, but exclusively by studying nature and using the experience, which we have gained in long years of practice.  Who does not know that most contemporary doctors fail because they slavishly abide by the precepts of Avicenna, Galen, and Hippocrates, as though these were Apollo’s oracles from which it is not allowed to digress by a finger’s breadth.  If it pleases God, this way may lead to splendid titles, but does not make a true doctor. 

 

What a doctor needs is not eloquence or knowledge of language and of books, illustrious though they be, but profound knowledge of Nature and her works.  The task of a rhetorician is to bring the judge over to his opinion.  The doctor must know the causes and symptoms of the disease and use his judgment to prescribe the right medicine.   

 

Thanks to the liberal allowance the gentlemen of Basle have granted for that purpose, I shall explain the textbooks which I have written on surgery and pathology, every day for two hours, for the greatest benefit of the audience, as an introduction to my healing methods.  I do not compile them from excerpts of Hippocrates or Galen.  In ceaseless toil I created them anew upon the foundation of experience, the supreme teacher of all things.  If I want to prove anything, I shall not do so by quoting authorities, but by experiment and by reasoning thereupon.  If, therefore, dear reader, you should feel the impulse to enter into those divine mysteries, if within a brief lapse of time you should want to fathom the depths of medicine, then come to me at Basle and you will find much more than I can say here in a few words.   

 

To express myself more plainly, let me say here, by way of example, that I do not believe in the ancient doctrine of complexions and humors, which has been falsely supposed to account for all diseases.  It is because of these doctrines that so few physicians have correct views of disease, its origins and its course.  I bid you, do not pass a premature judgment on Theophrastus until you have heard him.  Farewell, and come with a good will to study our attempt to reform medicine. ”  

Paracelsus     dated  1527

 

I used these words in 2003 at the Orthomolecular Medical Conference – in honor of my friend and mentor, Dr. Abram Hoffer, Ph.D. M.D.

 

 

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“Theophrastus Bombast of Hohenhelm, doctor of both medicines and professor, greetings to the students of medicine.  Of all disciplines, medicine alone, through the grace of God and according to the opinion of authors divine and profane, is recognized as a sacred art.  Yet, few doctors today practice it with success and therefore the time has…
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