The Gnostics

220px-ParacelsusThe Renaissance physician, alchemist and philosopher Paracelsus was born Theophrastus Philippus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim in Einsielden, Switzerland circa 1493. He followed in the footsteps of his father, and became a physician. Paracelus studied medicine at various universities and travelled widely throughout Europe studying, practicing medicine and writing. Appointed city physician and professor at the University of Basel in 1526, he embarked on an ambitious program of lectures and writing. His bold calls for reform of medicine alienated many. Finally, public feeling rose so high against him that a warrant was issued for his arrest and he was forced to flee the city. This pattern of finding a position and patronage through his obvious brilliance and amazing cures followed by alienation and rejection because of his frequent attacks on medical and philosophical orthodoxy continued throughout his life. Nevertheless, he found time to dictate and write many books on medicine, magic, alchemy and occult philosophy. It is said that Paracelsus died in Salzburg on September 24, 1541, but according to the Gnostic tradition he still lives with the same physical body, having accomplished the Great Work of Alchemy.

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