Superphysics Superphysics
Chapter 1

The Generation of Natural Things is Twofold

by Paracelsus
7 minutes  • 1319 words

The generation of all natural things is twofold: Naturall, and without Art; and artificial, viz. by Alchymie. Although in generall it may bee said that all things are naturally generated of the Earth by means of putrefaction. For All things proceed from putrefaction.

Putrefaction is the chiefe degree, and first step to Generation. Now Putrefaction is[Pg 2] occasioned by a moist heat. The cause of putrefaction is a moist heat.For a continuall moist heat causeth putrefaction, and changeth all naturall things from their first form, and essence, as also their virtues, and efficacy, into another thing. The power and nature of putrefaction.

For as putrefaction in the stomach changeth, and reduceth all meats into dung; so also putrefaction out of the stomach in a glasse, changeth all things from one form into another, from one essence into another, from one colour into another, from one smell into another, from one virtue into another, from one power into another, from one property into another, and generally from one quality into another.

Many good things, which are wholsome, and medicinable, become after putrefaction naught, unwholsome, and meer poison. So on the contrary, there are many bad, unwholsome, poisonous, and hurtfull things, which after their putrefaction become good, lose all their unwholsomnesse, and become wonderfull medicinable: because putrefaction produceth great matters, as of this wee have a most famous example in the holy Gospel, where Christ saith: Unlesse a grain of Wheat bee cast into the Earth, and be putrefied, it cannot bring forth fruit in a hundred fold. Hence also we must know, that many things are multiplyed in putrefaction so as to bring forth excellent fruit.

What is putrefaction? For putrefaction is the change, and death of all things, and destruction of the first essence of all Naturall things; whence there ariseth a regeneration, and new generation a thousand times better, &c.

Putrefaction is the first degree to generation. Seeing therefore putrefaction is the first degree, and step to generation; it is very necessary that wee[Pg 3] know putrefaction well. Now there are many kinds of putrefactions, and one produceth its generation in another manner, then doth another. One also sooner then another. Putrefaction is manifold.Wee said also that moisture, and heat were the first degree, and step to putrefaction, which produceth all things, as a Hen doth her egs. Wherefore through, and in putrefaction, all mucilaginous flegme, and matter is made living, whatsoever it prove to be at last.

An artificial hatching of Chickens. An example of this you have in egs, in which there is a mucilaginous humour, which by any kind of moderate continuall heat is putrefied, and turned into a living Chicke, not only by the heat of the Hen, but any such kind of heat. For in such a degree of Fire egs may be brought to maturity in a glasse, and ashes, and become living birds: yea any man may ripen an egge in his arm-hole, and hatch a Chicke, as well as the Hen.

The raising of a dead bird to life.

And here wee must take notice of something that is greater, and more then this: viz. if that living Chicke be in a vessell of glasse like a gourd, and sealed up, burnt to powder, or ashes in the third degree of Fire, and afterward so closed in, be putrefied with the exactest putrefaction of Horse-dung, into a mucilaginous flegm, then that flegm may be brought to maturity, and become a renewed, and new made Chicke: to wit, if that flegm bee againe inclosed in its former shell, or receptacle. This is to revive the dead by regeneration, and clarification, which indeed is a great, and profound miracle of Nature. According to this processe may all Birds bee killed, and made alive againe, and made new: and this is the highest, and greatest miracle, and mystery of God,[Pg 4] which he ever discovered to mortall man.

The artificial generation of Man.

Wee must also know that after this manner men may bee generated without naturall Father, or Mother, i.e. not of a Woman in a naturall way: but by the Art, and industry of a skilfull Alchymist may a Man bee borne, and grow, as afterwards shall bee shewed.

The generation of men by brutes. It is possible also that men may be born of beasts, according to naturall causes, but yet this cannot bee done without much impiety, and heresie; to wit, if a man should couple with a beast, and that beast should, as a woman doth, receive the Sperm of the man, with desire and lust into her matrix, and conceive: then the sperm doth of necessity putrefie, and by the continual heat of the body, a man, and not a beast is thence produced. As the seed is, so is the fruit.For always as the seed is that is sown, so also is the fruit that is brought forth; and unlesse it should be so, it would be contrary to the light of Nature, and to Philosophy. Wherefore as is the seed, such is the hearb that springs from thence. So of the Seed of an Onyon is brought forth an Onyon, not a Rose, nor a Nut, not a Lettuce. So of Corne, Corn is brought forth, of Barley, Barley; of Oats, Oats: and so it is with all other fruits, which have seed, and are sown, &c.

The force of womens imagination.

In like manner also it is possible, and not contrary to Nature, that an irrationall bruit should bee produced by a woman, and a man. Neither are wee to judge of, or censure the woman, as the man, (as in the former case) shee therefore is not to bee accounted impious, or hereticall, as if shee acted contrary to Nature, but it is to be imputed to her imagination.

For her imagination is always the cause of it. And[Pg 5] the imagination of a breeding woman is so powerful, that in conceiving the seed into her body, shee may change her infant divers wayes: because her inward starres are so strongly bent upon the infant, that they beget an impression, and influence upon it.

Wherefore the infant in the Mothers wombe in its forming is put into the hand, and will of its Mother, as clay in the hand of the Potter, who thence frames, and makes what his will, and pleasure is: so the Woman that is breeding, forms the fruit in her body, according to her imagination, and her stars.

Therefore it often falls out, that of the seed of a man, Cattle, and other horrid Monsters are begot, according as the imagination of the Mother is strongly directed upon the Embryo, &c.

Now as you have heard, that by putrefaction many, and various things are generated, and made alive, so also you must know, that of many hearbs, by putrefaction divers living creatures are bred, which they that are skilled in these things know.

All animals that are bred meerly of putrefaction are poisonous.

Here also we must know, that all such Animalls, which are bred, and made of putrefaction, containe some poison, and are poisonous, yet one far more strong then another, and one after another manner then another: as you see in Serpents, Vipers, Toads, Frogs, Scorpions, Basiliskes, Spiders, Wood-bees, Pismires, and many sorts of Wormes, as Cankers, Maggots, Locusts, &c. All which are bred in, and through putrefaction.

Also amongst Animalls there are bred divers Monsters; And there are Monsters also which are not bred of putrefaction of themselves, but are made by Art in a glasse, as hath been said; because they oftentimes appear in a very wonderfull[Pg 6] shape, and form, fearful to behold, as oftentimes with many feet, many tailes, many colours, oftentimes many heads, worms with the tailes of Fishes, or feathers, and other unusuall forms, that the like have not been seen.

Any Comments? Post them below!