Paracelsus Quotes

Quotations Written by and Attributed to Paracelsus

Paracelsus
Portrait of Paracelsus by an Unknown Artist, c. 1540. Public Domain; courtesy of Wikimedia

Paracelsus  (who also went by Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim) was a physician and alchemist who made groundbreaking advances in the field of medicine. These quotes have been attributed to Paracelsus, but sources are unavailable.

Healing and Medicine

  • The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind.
     
  • Medicine is not merely a science but an art. The character of the physician may act more powerfully upon the patient than the drugs employed.
     
  • Medicine is not only a science; it is also an art. It does not consist of compounding pills and plasters; it deals with the very processes of life, which must be understood before they may be guided.
     
  • Once a disease has entered the body, all parts which are healthy must fight it: not one alone, but all. Because a disease might mean their common death. Nature knows this; and Nature attacks the disease with whatever help she can muster.
     
  • The physician is only the servant of nature, not her master. Therefore, it behooves medicine to follow the will of nature.
     
  • Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy.
     

Dealing with Universities

  • I wonder how the high colleges managed to produce so many high asses.
     
  • The universities do not teach all things, so a doctor must seek out old wives, gipsies, sorcerers, wandering tribes, old robbers, and such outlaws and take lessons from them.
     
  • Why do you call me a Medical Luther? . . . I leave it to Luther to defend what he says, and I will be responsible for what I say. That which you wish to Luther, you wish also to me: you wish us both in the fire

     

    Philosophy

    • He who is born in imagination discovers the latent forces of Nature. . . . Besides the stars that are established, there is yet another -- Imagination -- that begets a new star and a new heaven.
       
    • He who knows nothing, loves nothing.
      He who can do nothing understands nothing.
      He who understands nothing is worthless.
       
    • The human spirit is so great a thing that no man can express it; could we rightly comprehend the mind of man nothing would be impossible to us upon the earth.
       
    • Man is a microcosm, or a little world, because he is an extract from all the stars and planets of the whole firmament, from the earth and the elements; and so he is their quintessence.
       
    • The realms of nature are the letters, and man is the word that is composed of these letters.
       
    • That which the dream shows is the shadow of such wisdom as exists in man, even if during his waking state he may know nothing about it... We do not know it because we are fooling away our time with outward and perishing things, and are asleep in regard to that which is real within ourselves.​
       
    • Thoughts are free and are subject to no rule. On them rests the freedom of man, and they tower above the light of nature.
       
    • Thoughts give birth to a creative force that is neither elemental nor sidereal. Thoughts create a new heaven, a new firmament, a new source of energy, from which new arts flow. When a man undertakes to create something, he establishes a new heaven, as it were and from it the work that he desires to create flows into him. For such is the immensity of man that he is greater than heaven and earth.

       

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